Challenging young minds through neuroscience

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The 2021 Irvine Brain Bee has passed. Registration for the 2022 Irvine Brain Bee will open in the fall of 2021. Subscribe to our email list to receive an email once registration opens


The Irvine Brain Bee is hosted by the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at UC Irvine and is organized by a committee led by Manuella Yassa, Director of Outreach and Education and chaired by neuroscience Doctoral students Rachael Hokenson and Caden Henningfield.

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The goal of the Irvine Brain Bee is to inspire high school students in Orange County to learn about the brain and provide opportunities for engagement with university students and professors.

This year's event will be an interactive, engaging day of neuroscience fun featuring a keynote lecture, virtual poster session, demonstrations and activities for high school students. Students will have opportunities to network with UCI neuroscience faculty and students throughout the day to learn more about pathway to neuroscience and careers in neuroscience. This year's event will not include a formal competition, but will have an informal, low-stakes competition based on content from the Brain Facts book. The 2021 Irvine Brain Bee Event will take place virtually, on March 20, 2021. The competition is 100% free for students. Registration is required.

Brain Awareness Week

The Irvine Brain Bee is organized in celebration of Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign to foster public enthusiasm and support for brain science. Learn more about Brain Awareness Week and the Dana Foundation at

2021 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Craig Stark

Dr. Craig Stark is Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior in the School of Biological Sciences at UC Irvine and Faculty Fellow of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. His laboratory uses imaging, cognitive testing and even video games to understand the mechanisms that underlie memory. His work was recently featured on Mind Field! Check it out by clicking here.


3rd Annual Irvine Brain Bee goes VIRTUAL! - Image of Zoom screenshot of Irvine Brain Bee

3rd Annual Irvine Brain Bee goes VIRTUAL!

UCI Neuroscience Faculty member, David Reinkensmeyer, presenting at the Irvine Brain Bee

About the Irvine Brain Bee

2020 Irvine Brain Bee Inspires Teens to Pursue Brain Science Careers

2020 Irvine Brain Bee

Irvine Brain Bee

The Irvine Brain Bee is a local competition for high school students hosted by the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine.

The winner of the Irvine Brain Bee will be awarded a trip for two to the National Brain Bee to compete with high schoolers from around the country.*

USA Brain Bee

The USA Brain Bee was founded in 1998 by Dr. Norbert Myslinski at the University of Maryland. Date and location for the 2020 US Brain Bee has not yet been announced. Awards of $1,500, $1000 and $500 will be given to the first, second and third place winners of the USA Brain Bee. The first place winner will be invited to participate in the International Brain Bee Championship.

Click here to learn more about the USA Brain Bee.

International Brain Bee

The International Brain Bee Competition is sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Dana Foundation, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

The dates for the 2020 World Championship have not yet been announced. The 2019 World Championship was held in Daegu, Korea in September 2019 in conjunction with the 10th IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience. Read more about the International Brain Bee competition by clicking here.