SpectrUM to Host Second Annual Brain Bee Competition at UM

February 22, 2016

MISSOULA – The Big Sky Brain Project and the University of Montana’s spectrUM Discovery Area will host western Montana’s second annual Brain Bee competition on Saturday, Feb. 27, in the Skaggs Building at UM. The Brain Bee is a competitive Q-and-A event that allows area high school students to test their knowledge about the most complex organ in the body.

The first-place prize is a scholarship to compete at the U.S. National Brain Bee March 18-20 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

“Students from Missoula and surrounding areas have been busy studying for the competition since December,” said Amanda Duley, spectrUM BrainLab manager and Brain Bee event organizer. “Contestants have participated in a mock Brain Bee and are challenging and supporting each other’s knowledge, so the live Brain Bee portion should be a fun competition.”

Nineteen students from Corvallis, Frenchtown and Missoula currently are registered for the event. Registered participants are invited to attend free brain training workshops led by Duley, which include neuroanatomy laboratories using real brains, neurohistology with microscopes, brain imaging identification and a mock Brain Bee training for the live competition.

For a complete Brain Bee schedule or to learn more about the Brain Bee and the Big Sky Brain Project, visit http://www.umt.edu/brainbee/default.php or call Duley at 406-728-7836.

The Big Sky Brain Project and spectrUM also seek sponsors for the event, which is free to participants. Sponsors will be recognized in Brain Bee press and promotional materials, on the spectrUM website and in spectrUM’s downtown museum before the event and for several months after. Interested sponsors can call 406-728-7836 or visit http://www.umt.edu/brainbee/sponsor/how-to-sponsor.php to make an online pledge.

The International Brain Bee, founded by Dr. Norbert Myslinski, is a program of Mankind for International Neuroscience Development Inc. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Big Sky Brain Project is a partnership between the Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience and the spectrUM Discovery Area. It strives to increase neuroscience literacy in Montana’s K-12 students while putting the next generation of Montanans on the fast track to careers in STEM fields.

Committed to inspiring a culture of learning and discovery for all, the spectrUM Discovery Area is an interactive science center located in the heart of downtown Missoula. Annually, spectrUM serves more than 50,000 Montanans through in-museum and mobile programming.

The spectrUM Discovery Area Downtown, located at 218 E. Front St. in Missoula, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission costs $3.50 per person. Teachers or schools may book a field trip to the spectrUM museum or arrange a stop on spectrUM’s mobile tour by calling 406-728-7836.

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Note to media: Media is invited to attend the Brain Bee. Find a schedule of event times at http://www.umt.edu/brainbee/about/2016%20Brain%20Bee%20Event%20Schedule.php .

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Contact: Amanda Duley, spectrUM and Big Sky Brain Project BrainLab manager, 406-728-7836, amanda.duley@umontana.edu.