General News

Neuroscience Piques Hwa Chong Students’ Interest In Biomedical Research

15 Nov 2019

Brain Bee Challenge

The International Brain Bee (IBB) Challenge is a non-profit neuroscience competition designed to teach school students (age group of 14-19 years) about the brain and to inspire them to pursue careers in biomedical research. The Singapore IBB provides a unique platform for young students enthusiastic about neuroscience to test their knowledge and showcase their talent and interest in it. This year, nearly 174 students from 12 schools in Singapore participated in the Challenge.

Prior to the Challenge, the SNA organized an Orientation day to introduce the students to important concepts in neuroscience. Following that, there were 2 rounds to the Challenge - a written first round comprising Multiple Choice Questions and short answer questions, and a second round where finalists had to undergo an oral examination by a panel of eminent neuroscientists including Professor Ong Wei Yi, Associate Professor S. Thameem Dheen and Associate Professor Samuel Tay.

We would like to congratulate Yau Chun En (19S7F) for clinching the championship. On top of a cash prize of $500, he was awarded a travel award of $2000 to attend the International Brain Bee Challenge held in Daegu, South Korea from 19 to 21 September 2019.  We would also like to congratulate Tian Shuhao (19S7F) for clinching the runner-up position. Mentored by Mrs Irene Kng (Lecturer/Biology), both students received their awards from the Guest of Honour, Professor Chong Yap Seng, Dean of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine on 11 November 2019 at the Tahir Foundation Building in NUS.

This event was sponsored by the Department of Anatomy (NUS Medicine), Lee Foundation, and Singapore Neuroscience Association

From left to right: Associate Professor S. Thameem Dheen (President, Singapore Neuroscience Association), Tian Shuhao (19S7F), Yau Chun En (19S7F), Yee Qin Sheng (Anglo Chinese Junior College), Professor Chong Yap Seng (Dean, NUS Medicine)

Yau Chun En (19S7F) shared that:
“Being chosen as the National Representative for the International Brain Bee was certainly an honour, an immense one that I have to credit my teachers and friends for. Throughout the entire preparation process, it was with their much needed support that I had managed to pull through. From the logistics being meticulously arranged by my teacher in charge Mdm Irene Kng to the constant reminders from classmates to take care of myself before the competition, I would not have made it without them. While the learning process was fun and enriching, it was also rigorous and demanding. The multiple atlases that had to be absorbed and the countless sketches of spinal tracts are still deeply etched in my mind to this day…

I met so many like-minded individuals who wouldn't laugh at you but instead, laugh with you when you crack a lame brain-related joke. Individuals who so freely share their wealth of knowledge beyond neuroscience. Individuals who cheer for each other when he or she goes up on stage during the awards ceremony, especially for the Chinese representative who won China's first gold medal in the history of the competition. Individuals who may one day well become each other's colleagues. And for that, I am thankful for my friends, my family, my school Hwa Chong Institution and NUS for granting me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While I may have left Daegu with a medal in the pocket and a certificate in my bag, what will leave the most indelible mark in my mind would be the (hopefully) long-lasting friendships formed with people from six continents.”

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