Last Thursday May 30, Scots All Saints College, Year 10 student, Callum Duncan-Keen participated in the State Finals of the annual Australian Brain Bee competition, which brings together some of the brightest young minds in NSW. Callum ranked in the top 85 students from across NSW to be selected for the State Finals, held at the School of Medical Sciences, University of NSW.

After the initial round was marked, Callum was announced in the top 8 of all students who competed in the State Finals. He was then required to participate in a final round of live questioning to determine the State Champion. Callum performed extremely well under pressure and finished the competition in equal fifth place. This is an astounding achievement and places Callum in the top 0.5% of all NSW students. The Brain Bee is a world-wide neuroscience competition that aims to educate students about the brain and its functions, neuroscience research, careers in neuroscience and to dispel misconceptions about neurological and mental illnesses.

Scots All Saints Headmaster, Mr David Gates said: “Congratulations Callum on making history and a thoroughly deserving reward for your hard work and dedication over many months.

“We are extremely proud of Callum who has consistently worked hard throughout his schooling to achieve this excellent and very deserving result. To be named as one of the brightest minds in the State, at such a young age is an amazing achievement,” Mr Gates said.

The day began with a live question and answer round which would determine the students who would make it to the final round. Students were tested on topics relating to the anatomy and physiology of the human brain – such as intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, sleep and addiction. Students participated in neuroscience activities, including proprioceptor and vestibular function experiments in the laboratories at UNSW. Students also heard presentations from Neuro Youth Australia and doctoral students and enjoyed an informative visit to the Disease Museum.

Mr Gates said: “These competitions of academic excellence provide exciting ways to challenge our students to bring out the best of their capabilities. Congratulations to Callum and his teachers from our Learning Support and Enrichment Program at Scots All Saints College for encouraging our students to pursue these challenges and perform at the highest levels of competition.

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