Jessica Patterson ’16, of Saco, (pictured below) placed second overall in the Southern Maine Regional Brain Bee competition, held at the University of New England on December 8th. Seven members from Thornton Academy’s Neuroscience Club faced off against students from Biddeford High School and Kennebunk High School. If the first place winner is unable to attend the national competition at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Jessica will be called upon as an alternate.
Science teacher and Neuroscience Club advisor Mrs. Jessica Cardosi explained, “The club was formed so that students at TA can explore the human nervous system and learn all about the brain.”
The purpose of the Brain Bee is to motivate high school students to pursue careers in neuroscience. Thornton Academy students who studied for months to prepare for the big day included: Emily Richards ’16 (Saco), Belle Gasior ’19 (Saco), Itzel Villalvazo Salinas ’16 (Mexico), Bao Phuoc Nguyen (Vietnam) ’18, Jiayu “Abby” Huang ’17 (China), and Jing “Nicole” Ren ’17 (China).
“While at UNE students had the opportunity to dissect sheep brains, view prepared slides of brain tissue using the UNE microscopes, interact with anatomical models of the brain, and view human brains. UNE medical students and professors were available throughout the day to answer students' questions and teach them about brain anatomy and function,” said Mrs. Cardosi.
TA’s Neuroscience Club is in its second year at TA—learn more at their website: https://sites.google.com/a/thorntonacademy.org/ta-neuroscience-club/.
Students who are interested in biology and/or medicine are able to explore the field of neurology in detail by participating in the Neuroscience Club. They meet on Thursdays after school in room SB112. Interested students are encouraged to attend!