MPFI Holds Brain Bee Challenge 2022

April 11, 2022

The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) held its 9th annual Brain Bee Challenge Saturday, April 2, 2022. Nervous excitement filled the room as 60 Palm Beach County students readied themselves for a thrilling competition that would show which team knew the most about topics such as learning and memory, emotion, sensation, movement, aging, neurobiology, brain anatomy, and neural disorders.

After three exciting rounds, the Royal Palm Beach High School Wildcats emerged as the winners, with the Saint Andrew’s School Neuro Scots 1 taking second and FAU High School Team 2 coming in third. The teams received trophies and Amazon gift cards, courtesy of the event’s sponsor, the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education fund.

“It was an incredible experience to see so many students who are passionate about science and in particular, learning about the brain,” said Dr. Ilaria Drago, MPFI’s Head of Education Outreach. “As one of our signature events, Brain Bee is an important opportunity for Max Planck Florida to raise awareness of the field of neuroscience and help inspire the next generation of scientists.”

Teams were able to tour the institute and learn about the organization’s microscopy facilities and mechanical workshops, as well as participate in hands-on neuroscience demonstrations. The Mary and Robert Pew Public Education fund also donated a 3D printer which was awarded in a raffle to FAU Henderson High School. More than 330 viewers tuned in to cheer on the competitors and watch the live stream of the event.

The Max Planck Florida Brain Bee Challenge is held each year to increase public awareness of the importance, progress, and benefits of brain research. The event is sponsored by the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund, which has supported the event since its inception in 2012.

Brain Bee '22 Photo Gallery

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The 2022 MPFI Brain Bee Challenge Teams were:

American Heritage School of Boca/Delray

  • Team Patella: Lia Lapidot, Rohith Karthik, Ashwin Parthasarathy
  • Head Case: Isidoro Lapidot, Hecheng Xu, Vishrutha Sampath Anandi
  • Teacher Sponsor: Ewa Wojcik

FAU Henderson High School

  • FAU Team 1: Anna-Gabrielle Beneche, Lara Tunca, Delilah Penante
  • FAU Team 2: Vedaanet Mutha, Kyle Sagon, Arjun Doshi (Third Place)
  • FAU Team 3: Sherada Iyer, Anya Cane, Shepitia Richards
  • Teacher Sponsor: Kendra Palumbo

Jupiter Community High School

  • Axon Ax-Off’s: Madison Zaragoza, Connor Johnston, Alexandra Ronzon
  • Brainiacs: Lauren Trueman, Steven Dunlap, Samantha Haley
  • Coco Locos: Ana Jaramillo, Lissette Rodea-Llamas, Kimberly Lopez-Vasquez
  • Teacher Sponsor: Shari Rodgers

Lake Worth Community Middle School

  • Medulla Minors: Huntley Medley, Adriana Le, Maelle Francois
  • Arachnoid Phobia: Jennifer Velasquez, Juan Quintanilla, Belen Perez Gonzalez
  • Teacher Sponsor: Marta Galvez-Benavente

Oxbridge Academy

  • Oxbridge Thunderwolves: Andy Sabatino, Seray Ozgenc, Arielle Schwarzberg
  • Teacher Sponsor: Benjamin Matzen

Royal Palm Beach Community High School

  • The Royal Stingers: Sandyana Lamabert, Jade Walcott, Ogo Ikem
  • Wildcats: Jonathon Holt, Malachi Maldonado, Andrew Chamberlin (First Place)
  • Teacher Sponsor: Angelique Nelson

Saint Andrews School

  • Neuro Scots 1: Ava Allwardt, Nikita Pavlenko, Lara Lemke (Second Place)
  • Neuro Scots 2: Nikita Filatov, Sophie Wagner, Samantha Golish
  • Teacher Sponsor: Dr. Paul Gresser

The Benjamin School

  • Conscientia: Keira Hodum, Matias Saiz Mejia, Jack Horgen
  • Cerebellum Belles: Samantha Hill, Jia Guan, Olivia Wells
  • The Dopafiends: Atticus Fasnakis-Nosal, Katherine Scarborough, Keane Adam
  • Teacher Sponsor: Anne Franzen

West Boca Raton High School

  • Boca Bright Brains: Katalina Abreu, Addison Hall, Karla Zalamar
  • The Bulls: Jan Sanoja, Gisele Davis, Nicole Triassi
  • Teacher Sponsor: Michelle Lynne


Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund

Max Planck Florida’s Brain Bee is generously sponsored by the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund