Brainy Aussie girl wins championship

EVEN science broadcaster Robyn Williams was out of his depth, as a Sydney 16-year-old girl topped an international neuroscience competition.

JADE Pham, the Australian champion, won by just half a mark, beating 22 other competitors in the final of the 2015 International Brain Bee championship.

“It was astounding,” Williams said after the tense question-and-answer session on the big stage at the Australasian Neuroscience Society’s annual conference in Cairns on Monday.He didn’t know any of the answers to the 10 questions on topics such as anatomy, patient diagnosis and histology, and was humbled by the knowledge of the teenage competitors.”I didn’t expect to win at all,” Jade told AAP.The year 11 student at James Ruse Agricultural High School scored 126 out of 150, half a mark ahead of a US student.She plans to use her $3000 prize to pay off education bills, then buy herself a bow for her archery.The would-be neurosurgeon gets to choose a laboratory anywhere in the world to do her internship. The United States is high on her list.She said she had no idea she’d end up champion when she filled in the initiating online quiz, and her advice to other students is: “If you have a passion, go for it.”Excited as she is at having won, she won’t be painting the town red – instead opting to catch up on her sleep after long nights of studying for the final.Her competitors included a Nepalese student who won the national final in between the recent earthquakes and a Ukrainian student who was almost unable to make it because of internal political conflict.Williams praised all students, noting that English was not the first language of many.”There was an Iranian sitting next to an Israeli and they were chatting away happily,” he said.”It struck me how science can bring us all together.”

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Via: Google Alert for Neuroscience