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The 2019 Central New Jersey Regional Brain Bee Competition

Congratulations to our top-three finishers!


First Place

Julia Collin

Matawan Regional High School


Second Place

Liana Raguso

The Lawrenceville School


Third Place

Jack Gardell

Matawan Regional High School



Julia will now represent Central New Jersey at the National Brain Bee Competition in Hershey, PA in April.


63 students participated in the 2019 CNJBB competion.


Overview: Our Regional Brain Bee is part of an annual international competition for High School Students testing their knowledge in the field of Neuroscience, run by the Society for Neuroscience based in Washington DC, the largest professional Neuroscience society in the world.

The competition involves Regional Brain Bees that are held throughout the US and world in January and February. Regional winners will compete in the 2019 USA Brain Bee Championship, which will be held on April 12-14, 2019 on the campus of the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

National Brain Bees winners from around the world will go on to compete in the 2019 International Brain Bee in which will be held in September in Daegu, South Korea.

***Note that specific dates for the national and international competition are forthcoming.


Additional prizes and support will be provided to the second and third place finishers (see below).

Format: The Central NJ Brain Bee competition will take place in three rounds:

Round 1: 45 question written test for all contestants

Everyone will be given the same question
Question will be projected on the screen

You will have 30 seconds to answer each question


Lunch Break and Neuroscience Educational Programs


Round 2:  5 question oral answer test for first-cut finalists

Round-robin question-and-answer
Each contestant will be given a different question to answer orally
Each contestant will answer 5 different questions during the round
You will have up to 30 seconds to answer

Round 3: Jeopardy-style oral answer test for second-cut finalists

Grand finalists will be chosen from the top performers in Rounds 1 and 2
All contestants will be given the same question and will write their answers on a white board (jeopardy-style)
You will have 1 minute to answer each question

The round will continue until the top three finishers are determined


Please note that specific aspects of the competition format may vary from the above.


Study Guide:


Questions from all three rounds will be based on information contained in the 2018 edition of

Brain Facts, a publication of the Society for Neuroscience, which can be downloaded here.


Round 3 questions may also include additional material on CNS anatomy, histology, and clinical neurology.



Cash prizes will be provided for the top three finishers in the Central NJ Brain Bee.

First place: $300 | Second place: $200 | Third place: $100

In addition, reasonable travel expenses (lodging, food and transportation) will be reimbursed in accordance with University policy, to the first place winner (competitor + parent/guardian) to attend the 2019 National Brain Bee competition in Maryland in March.

Information about the National and International Brain Bee competitions can be found by following the links.

General Rules:

  • All students currently enrolled in a New Jersey public or private high school are eligible to compete.
  • Students may compete in only one regional brain bee per year.
  • Contestants who placed in the top 3 finalists from any prior year are prohibited from competing again.
  • Contestants and parents may not use any recording devices or take notes of any kind during the competition.
  • Detailed competition rules can be found at the IBB website.


The registration is free and open to all students who wish to participate. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Applications will be accepted through Monday, February 4, 2019.

Please send the following information via e-mail to: Joan Mordes (

  • Your Name
  • Home Address
  • E-mail Address
  • Current Grade Level
  • High School Name
  • High School Address
  • Name of your Biology Teacher

Registered students will receive further information by email prior to the competition date (directions, program, detailed rules).

Additional Information:

  • Open to all students, parents, teachers, and guests
  • Lunch will be provided by the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology
  • The Regional Brain Bee Competition Day Schedule will also include opportunities to discuss science, academic careers, and other issues with RWJ Neuroscience professors, research professionals, students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • A chance to meet clinical and research Neuroscience faculty at lunch
  • Competition day schedule will be posted in mid-January.


For questions about the Central New Jersey Regional Brain Bee Competition, please contact:
Joan Mordes ( | Michael Matise (

*In case of inclement weather, the competition will be held on Sunday, February 10, at the same time.