Bristol’s Aidan May competes at nationals

BRISTOL — Mount Abraham Union High School’s Aidan May, winner of the Vermont Brain Bee, participated in USA National Brain Bee Championship last month.
May, a junior at Mt. Abraham Union High School, matched wits in this neuroscience competition with teenagers who were winners from 51 chapters across 30 states. The competition took place at the University of Maryland in Baltimore on March 17-19.
National Brain Bee participants were tested on their knowledge of the human brain, including such topics as intelligence, emotions, memory, sleep, vision, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, addiction and brain research. The competition involved a practical exam identifying parts of real human brains, diagnosing brain diseases portrayed by patient actors, examination of brain cells, brain MRI imaging identification and an oral competition. The event was sponsored by the Department of Neural and Pain Sciences of the University of Maryland Dental School.
May finished the competition as 33rd out of 51 contestants. The winner, Sojas Wagle of Arkansas, will represent the United States at the World Brain Bee Championship in August.
May has participated in the Vermont Brain Bee for the past three years. Following his win in Vermont on Feb. 18, May was prepped for the National Brain Bee by VBB Committee members Sean Flynn, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurological sciences at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont; Riley St. Clair, neuroscience graduate student at UVM; and Sharon Leach, Ph.D., neuropsychologist at the Stern Center for Language and Learning. May exhibited strong knowledge in many areas tested in the National Brain Bee.
“Participating in the National Brain Bee was definitely more challenging, but it was awesome and fun and the people there were incredible and smart,” May said. “It was an exciting and amazing experience, I was honored to represent Vermont.”
Currently there are about 200 Brain Bee Chapters in about 40 countries in 6 continents. Dr. Norbert Myslinski, a 2016 International Science Educator of the Year, founded the International Brain Bee in 1999.
“Its purpose is to motivate young students to learn about the human brain and inspire them to seek careers in the basic and clinical neurosciences to help treat and find cures for brain disorders,” Myslinski said. “We build better brains to fight brain disorders.”

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