Baylor Students Win Brain Bowl Competition In San Antonio

April 5, 2005

by Kim Skinner, Student Newswriter

Thinking on their feet and answering questions such as, "What is the name given to the mathematical relationship between membrane potential and concentration gradient in biological systems?" comes naturally to Baylor University neuroscience students who won the Brain Bowl on March 29 in San Antonio, Texas.

For the fourth consecutive year Baylor neuroscience students took first place in the Brain Bowl, an annual event for Texas colleges and universities.

The Baylor team of four students, all neuroscience majors, included Bryan Hansen, a junior from Plano; Cathryn Hughes, a sophomore from Kingwood; Megan Tipps, a senior from Muleshoe; and Trey Todd, a junior from Garland.

"The other teams each had eight to 10 members and we only had four, so at first I was nervous," Todd said. "As soon as the questions began, however, it was obvious that we were better prepared than the other schools."

According to Dr. Brad Keele, the professor who took the team to the Brain Bowl, Baylor students continue to do well in this competition because of the strong neuroscience curriculum.

"The students who have done well in their neuroscience classes are chosen to participate in Brain Bowl," Dr. Keele said. "The team then takes the knowledge they are gaining from their classes on the road for this event."

This year, the team divided up subjects and each focused on one aspect of the competition.

"Our plan was to divide and conquer," Moore said. "We each focused on a specific area of the material and compiled information over that topic for the rest of the group to study."

Every year, three schools are invited by the Alamo Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience to participate in the Brain Bowl. This year Baylor, Trinity University and Southwestern University were invited.

The Brain Bowl is formatted like a college bowl. Questions are asked and the school that buzzes in first earns the right to answer. As the questions get progressively harder, the penalty for guessing wrong increases as well.

"We were always proud of anyone who answered a tough question, even if they were from another school," Tipps said. "The focus was really on the material rather than on who had the most points."

Though the focus may not have been who had the most points, Baylor won by a landslide. The final score showed Baylor with 715 points, Trinity with 142 and Southwestern with 3.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?