On Friday, June 24, whilst the rest of the school was enjoying Charities Day, seven Year 10s represented North Sydney Girls at UNSW for the BrainBee state final competition. These seven girls - Rebecca Ju, Sharon Jacob, Muhan Shi, Krishni Bhulani, Nina Hoh, Shreya Saravanan and Kim Do - were among the fifty finalists within NSW, competing for the title of state champion and state team champion in a world-renowned neuroscience competition. It was a pleasure to learn so much fascinating information about the brain, how it works, specific brain diseases, and so much more.
The day started with an intense test on Education Perfect (yep, the website where we get lots and lots of languages homework!) about neurology material that we had covered over the last month or so. The test lasted one very long hour, during which we applied our understanding of the brain’s countless functions to real-world applications, such as the diagnoses of diseases. We were then taken to a lecture theatre, before partaking in the state team challenge.
The school team, consisting of four girls - Sharon, Krishni, Rebecca and Muhan - beat both James Ruse and Queenswood (as unbelievable as it is), before participating in a sudden-death match against Sydney Girls. The two teams were neck-and-neck, both fighting fiercely to win a prestigious trophy and prizes for their school. But at last, NSG’s team pulled through and broke the tie - winning 1st place in the state!
It was a whirlwind day of inspiring presentations, impressive demonstrations and fun interactive lunchtime displays… as well as awesome free food! We encountered many things that piqued our interest, from a large fish, interesting conversations with neurologists, a museum with diseased human specimens, and a Barany Chair (a bit like those spinny chairs that you sit on and then forget to actually do any work!).
At the end of the event, it was also revealed that two NSG students - Shreya and Sharon - had made it into the state semifinals! They underwent rapid-fire live questioning on neurological concepts and processes, competing alongside eight others to battle it out for the title of state champion. Sharon was crowned an astounding and well-deserved third place, with Shreya a close fourth!
Overall, the whole experience was an invaluable and extremely rewarding opportunity. From the abnormally large fish to all the medals won at the end of the day, and even the incredibly difficult competition questions - it was magical. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that refined our understanding of the human body and its wonders! And none of this could’ve been achieved if Ms R. O’Brien wasn’t so enthusiastic, supportive and reliable throughout the whole journey. We strongly advise upcoming year 10s to participate in the BrainBee!