Woodvale student wins WA Brain Bee championships

Woodvale Secondary College student Erwin Bauernschmitt (centre) with St Norbert College students.
Woodvale Secondary College student Erwin Bauernschmitt (centre) with St Norbert College students.

A WOODVALE Secondary College student could be WA’s brainiest boy after winning the WA Brain Bee championships.

Erwin Bauernschmitt (15) was the individual winner in the neuroscience competition, held at UWA, and will represent the state at the national finals in Sydney in December.

Year 10 students from 18 schools, including Lake Joondalup Baptist College and Sacred Heart College, participated in the WA finals of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC).

The team from St. Norbert College won the schools category of the competition, which was designed to test students’ knowledge of neuroscience and associated conditions or diseases of the brain

It also aimed to engage students who might be interested in pursuing neuroscience as a career.

Erwin said the Brain Bee was an intense competition with some tough questions.

“I was really nervous, but I’m pleased to have made it through to the national finals,” he said.

“The anatomy of the brain is fascinating.

“How an organ so small can be so complex and have one of the most important functions in the body is really interesting.

“I was originally set on becoming an engineer but I think neuroscience is a pretty interesting career option too.”

Brain Bee State coordinator and UWA senior research fellow Jennifer Rodger said the Year 10 students demonstrated a great depth of knowledge and keen interest in neuroscience.

“It was wonderful to see so many students interested in such an important subject,” Dr Rodger said.

“Hundreds of millions of people world-wide are affected by neurological conditions and many of us know at least one person affected by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, migraines, epilepsy, autism or multiple sclerosis.

“With neurological disorders and mental illness so prevalent, it’s good to see so many young people considering choosing this as a career path.”