Brain Bee

The Brain Bee Challenge 

The next Brain Bee Challenge will take place on April 20, 2024. Registration opens December 4, 2023.

The Brain Bee Challenge is part of a global campaign to increase public awareness of the importance, progress, and benefits of brain research. Brain Bee participants compete in teams of three to answer questions on neuroscience topics such as learning and memory, emotion, sensation, movement, aging, neurobiology, brain anatomy, and neural disorders. All students who participate will be able to tour MPFI and will receive a complimentary lunch and participation certificate.



Team Format

Students of grades 8-12 can form a team of three to compete in the Brain Bee Challenge. Each team will work together to decide on a single answer within an allotted time period. Students attending different schools can form a team together, but they can have only one teacher sponsor.

Study Materials


  • A maximum of three teams per school can register.
  • Students compete in teams of three students.
  • All answers must be submitted in writing. We will provide writing materials. The moderator may only repeat the question once after it has been initially asked.
  • Students have 30 seconds to respond after the initial question has been asked. Since there are often several correct answers to a question, the panel of judges may overrule the moderator at any time.
  • 1st place winners from previous years are not eligible to compete.
  • Students that already attended MPFI events or classes that lasted more than a day (e.g. Summer Internships) are not eligible to compete.


  • Each student in the top three teams will receive a gift card ($150/student for the 1st place team, $100/student for the 2nd place team, and $50/student for the 3rd place team).
  • Teachers who commit to sponsoring and guiding a team through the competition will receive a gift card. To be eligible, teachers need to respond to MPFI communications regarding the competition and make sure that their students confirm their participation by January 28, 2023.
  • If a team or its sponsor teacher fails to confirm their participation by January 28, 2023, we will assign the spot to a team on the waiting list
  • The first-place team will be invited to spend a day at MPFI.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does registration open?
Registration will open on December 4, 2023. A registration link will be provided on this webpage on the day registration opens. All teams must have an agreed-upon “Team Name” and a Teacher Sponsor for the purpose of registering.

Who is eligible to participate?
The Brain Bee is open to all students in grades 8-12 who attend a Palm Beach or Martin County middle or high school.

How does registration take place?
Registration takes place online via a registration link that will be found on this webpage. Space is limited, so early registration is recommended. If after registering your team wants to withdraw from the competition, please email so we can offer the spot to one of the teams in the waiting list

Is there a cost to register/participate?
The Brain Bee is sponsored by a grant from the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund. Participant registration is free.

How many people must be on a team?

Do teams need to be formed prior to registration?

How is the competition structured?

There are three rounds. After the first round with 20 questions, the best ten teams will be selected to move forward in the competition. The second round has 10 questions, and after it, the best three teams will pass to the final round. The final round is sudden death and there can be “Brain Buzz” questions

What is a “Brain Buzz” question?

A “Brain Buzz” question is a question in which every member of a team has to provide an answer without talking to the other team’s members

Does every member of the team need to register separately?
Yes. Please remember to agree on a team name and a sponsor teacher before starting the registration process.

Who are the judges?
Judges are neuroscientists from Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience.

Are teachers welcome to attend?
Yes, teachers who are supporting students in the competition can attend. Please email, so that we may have an accurate count of attendees.


Previous Brain Bees

Our Sponsor

  • Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund