Brain Bee at the Perkins

Australia’s ‘brainiest’ student has proved herself in the national finals of the Brain Bee Challenge at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth. 

Jade Pham
Australian Winner of the Brain Bee
challenge, Jade Pham

Jade Pham, 16, from Bankstown in New South Wales said she’d been reading human anatomy books since she was a kid and found neuroscience particularly interesting.

She hopes to eventually become a neurosurgeon and “Make a difference in society.”

Jade was among nine high school students from Australia and New Zealand who competed in the national finals of the competition that tests students’ knowledge of the human brain and how it works.

It was the first time the Brain Bee National Challenge was held in Perth in the Perkins McCusker Auditorium.

Brain Bee WA Event Coordinator and UWA Associate Professor Jenny Rodger said the year 11 students, including a finalist from Broome in WA, had competed against thousands of teenagers at State competitions across Australia and in New Zealand, to be selected in the top nine.

“The students competed in the final and toughest challenge today, as part of the Swan Symposium for Western Australian Neurosciences,” Ms Rodger said.

“The SWAN is held annually for all neuroscientists and neurologists in Perth and I’m sure not everybody in the audience knew the answer to every question asked of the students, as they were very difficult. Success depended not on rote learning, but on really understanding in detail how the brain works.”

Jade Pham and New Zealand winner, Nicholas Kondal, will go on to compete in the international Brain Bee Challenge.

Brain Bee has been made possible by the support of The University of Western Australia, the Neurotrauma Research Program, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, the University of Western Sydney, the University of Queensland, and the Queensland Brain Institute.

Australian finalists
• Sharma Harman, St Mary’s College, Broome, WA
• Sruthisri Sridharan, Burgmann Anglican College, Crace, ACT
• Jade Pham, James Ruse Agriculture High School, Bankstown, NSW - Winner
• Sophie Watson, Somerville House School, Clayfield, QLD
• Ryan Wood, Pedare Christian College, Gulfview Heights, SA
• Jake Newland, Dominic College, Glenorchy, TAS
• Rajan Venkatraman, John Monash Science School, Glen Waverley, VIC

New Zealand finalists
• Nicholas Kondal, Massey High School, Massey – Winner
• Matthew Moore, Christ’s College, Geraldine

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