UPDATED: Local student places seventh in state Brain Bee competitionEast Ridge High School sophomore Kevin Ig-Izevekhai has qualified for the state Brain Bee competition which is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Feb. 10 at the University of Minnesota
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Updated at 12:40 p.m. on Feb. 11. Kevin Ig-Izevekhai placed seventh out of 30 contestants in the state Brain Bee competition on Feb. 10 at the University of Minnesota.
There’s plenty of knowledge competitions where students need to use their brain to answer test questions.
But the “Brain Bee” takes it one step further – students must answer questions about the brain.
East Ridge High School sophomore Kevin at the University of Minnesota
Ig-Izevekhai placed seventh out of 30 participants.
“I’ve always kind of been interested in the body first of all, and especially the brain” he said. “We as human beings have the most complex brain system, so the whole fact that it all comes from a basis that is really so simple, and then becomes so complex is fascinating.”
Last month, Ig-Izevekhai qualified for the state competition by answering a 90-question qualifying test on the computer.
The questions were taken from a 70-page articled titled “Brain Facts.”
The questions touched on a whole host of topics including physiology, diseases and development.
Ig-Izevekhai was one of the top 30 out of the 300 students in Minnesota who took the qualifying exam.
“I felt like I wasn’t prepared enough,” he said. “But I guess I came out O.K.”
Learning about the brain
To prepare for the qualifying round of the Brain Bee competition, Ig-Izevekhai spent roughly a month going through the “Brain Facts” article, studying about five pages a night.
He said some of the most challenging aspects of the article included understanding the many brain disorders, medications, abbreviations and terms.
As the competition progresses, additional texts are used for the Brain Bee competition, so Ig-Izevekhai will have to keep on studying up on the brain.
“It’s always the same brain, but maybe it’s a new publication that they use,” he said.
Taking on the Brain Bee
The State Brain Bee will be held at the School of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota in a Jeopardy-style format, where each contestant answers individual questions.
Ig-Izevekhai said he is excited about the competition and hopeful he will do well, but admits to having a few nerves.
“I don’t want to be negative, but I always get a little nervous before something big,” he said. “I’m kind of blessed to be in this situation, so I’m going to take advantage it — I’m just going to take it as it comes along.”
Ig-Izevekhai said he enjoys learning about the brain and hopes to one day pursue a career in the medical field.
“I want to go into medial school and maybe study to become a neurologist,” he said. “There’s science clubs and all that, but nothing is as direct as studying the brain and answering questions about it.”
“When I see someone in distress or see somebody with a physical condition, and I’m not able to help them — I truly don’t like that,” he said. “As much knowledge as I feel I have, I should be able to use it to change people’s lives.”
Visit www.woodburybulletin for updates on Kevin Ig-Izevekhai’s performance in the state Brain Bee Competition.