Vermont Brain Bee Creates a Buzz

Two Colchester High School students recently participated in the fifth-annual Vermont Brain Bee at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine.

Junior Andrew Pike and sophomore Katie White represented CHS in the all-day event—the first time that CHS students have competed in this event—which was described as “part competition and part learning” for the twenty-three high school students from around Vermont who participated.

Students Katie White and Andrew Pike represented CHS at the fifth-annual Vermont Brain Bee at UVM's College of Medicine on February 8

Students Katie White and Andrew Pike represented CHS at the fifth-annual Vermont Brain Bee at UVM’s College of Medicine on February 8

The competition consisted of written and practical tests followed by two rounds of oral questioning in front of the audience. Highlights of the day included several opportunities for the students to interact with UVM faculty and doctors in the neuroscience field through neurological disorder interactive case presentations and a keynote address about the latest research on the prefrontal cortex that included a live experiment on a student subject. To round out the day, students engaged in a question-and-answer session with a panel of undergraduate and graduate students of neuroscience who shared their experiences and reasons for entering their fields.

In preparation for the Vermont Brain Bee, Andrew and Katie received copies of Brain Facts, a text published by the Society for Neuroscience, in order to conduct relevant, independent reading.

The Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017 emphasizes the importance of high standards and expanded opportunities for our students along with innovative, flexible approaches with a commitment to excellence. A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas and the Vermont Science Curriculum and Standards also emphasize the critical importance of up-to-date learning environments.

Well done, Katie and Andrew!

For more information, please contact CHS science educators Marijke Reilly ( or Andrea Boehmcke ( or call (802) 264-5700.

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