Nooran AbuMazen, 17, participated in the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee at Hamilton's McMaster University on May 28, where she tested her knowledge of neuroscience and neuroanatomy through a series of challenges, including a patient diagnosis. The just-shy-of-graduating high school student from Waterloo, Ont. intends to study life sciences at the University of Waterloo in the fall.
Though AbuMazen has dreams of going to medical school, she tells CTV News her love of neuroscience has additional practical ties.
“I see a lot of places where neuroscience can play a part in either my education or my future career,” said AbuMazen, to the news outlet on Wednesday.
Yet, in spite of the intense scholastic competition, the 17-year-old said she had a blast vying for the title amongst her fellow teens.
“Everyone at the competition was really nice and friendly," said AbuMazen, who also got to examine "slices of the brain."
“I’m just really proud of what everybody accomplished.”
According to BrainBee.ca, AbuMazen won a trophy — which will stay on display at McMaster — and a $1,500 scholarship, as well as a neuroscience laboratory summer internship opportunity.
Two other Ontario-area teens joined AbuMazen on the national podium; Stephanie Swanson from Guelph, Ont. landed in second place and Ling Yang of Ottawa finished in third. Swanson and Yang won a $1,000 and $500 scholarship, respectively, for their efforts.
But the competitive stakes are about to get bigger for AbuMazen. The Canadian champion will represent the country at the International Brain Bee challenge at a five-day competition between other victors in Copenhagen, Denmark, starting on June 30.
The Canadian National Brain Bee is put on by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which strives to "[improve] health by expanding knowledge."
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