ACG Parnell College student Sophia Ye won first place in the Australasian Brain Bee Competition held at the Australasian Neuroscience Society Conference in Brisbane recently.
She will now go on to represent NZ in the International Brain Bee Challenge in South Korea in September.
The competition consisted of multiple choice neurophysiology questions, a neuroanatomy and histology section where participants had to identify different anatomical structures in the brain, a clinical diagnosis to analyse symptoms of a described patient case, and a live question and answer section.
“It is so surreal, and a huge honour to represent New Zealand,” she said about winning. “I felt so excited to get the opportunity to continue to learn more about the brain, and relieved that all the study had paid off in the end. It was also quite overwhelming, since I would never have dreamed I could’ve made it this far.”
Sophia, in Year 11, is a school library monitor, helped backstage with the school production and does dance and swimming in her spare time. Eventually she would like to study in a medicine-related field and contribute to neuroscience or medicine through research or clinically.
She says she loves how everyone at ACG Parnell College is so supportive.
“My friends are so encouraging, and my teachers always push me to my full potential and are willing to help explain anything I don’t understand,” she said.
She also loves science. “It helps with understanding the world around you, and it’s so applicable to everything. I also really like how it is always changing, and you can never really stop finding out more.”