Alumni

 

 

Nicia John  

   Nicia John attends the Westmorland Secondary School. She is 15 years old and in Form 4. She was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, but been schooled and grown up in Grenada her whole life.

Her favorite school subjects are Art, Theatre Arts, Biology and French. Gymnastics, Dance, and Cake Decorating are some of the things that she loves to do in her spare time. She doesn’t play an instrument, but she would like to learn to play the piano. She also loves dogs.

She said, “The Brain Bee Challenge and its stages throughout the competition have allowed me to be exposed to a whole new world of knowledge.  It is fascinating how the brain works. Part taking in this competition hasn’t only given me the chance to be included in fun journeys and opportunities, but phenomenal learning experience”.

Nicia leaves for Copenhagen, Denmark on the 28th June until the 5th July. The International Championship begins on 30th June to the 4th July.  She is representing Grenada and we know that she would do her best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Toya S. Ameda

 

“A Once in a Lifetime Journey”~My Experience participating in the GBBC 2015

Participating in the Grenada National Brain Bee Competition has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I like to think of it as a journey; one filled with smooth highways and some really huge potholes.  From the beginning right to the end however, there had never been a dull moment.

            Phase 1 of my journey began with Nationals. I distinctly remember Ms. Belmar making an announcement at school for all persons interested in participating in the 2015 Brain Bee Challenge. First time ever hearing of the competition, I was not immediately taken away. However, with relentless persuasion by friends, coupled with the alluring grand prize of a trip to Australia, I decided to hop aboard- I guess peer pressure isn’t so negative after all.

            From then on, my schedule drastically changed. It was now comprised of vigorous practice sessions after school and long nights learning the various materials whilst still balancing the challenge of being a fourth form student. Despite the many challenges faced, in the end, it was all worth it. The thrill of emerging the 2015 Grenada Brain Bee Champion was overwhelming and simply surreal. The moment was further heightened by the immense support received from family, teachers, friends and even complete strangers.

            Having completed phase 1 of my journey, it was time to move on to phase 2; Internationals.  Preparations for the International Brain Bee Competition were more intense than I ever imagined. I no longer had any free time. My summer was either occupied with training sessions with doctors at the St. George’s University or classes at school. However, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make. As Dr. T.P Chia once said, “Hard work does not necessarily guarantee success but no success is possible without hard work.”

            Equipped with all the necessities for phase 2, I was off to Australia with my Two (2) sidekicks- My Mother and Sister Gail Blackette.  It was literally a once in a lifetime experience; One that I will never forget and never trade for the world.  I mean, not every day you get the opportunity to fly twenty- three (23) hours to the other side of the world, losing and gaining a day as you do so. 

            Surprisingly, the Internationals were not as cut throat as I thought. It was actually more of an adventure. Before every section of the competition, we would go on excursions to Rainforests, koala Gardens and we even went snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef once. I also had the opportunity to make new international friends whom I still keep in touch with today. Even though I did not emerge the champion of the competition, I still felt like a champion representing Grenada and to an extent the Caribbean at such a prestigious event.

            Now that this journey has somewhat come to an end, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to some special persons who without, this journey would not have been possible. First and foremost, I would like to thank God for granting me the strength, courage and opportunity to participate in this entire competition; to the Grenada Christian Services, the main sponsors; to the government of Grenada who aided in the funding of the trip; to the doctors at the St. George’s University who offered their invaluable time to work with me- with special mention to Dr. Fakoya and Dr. Tuula; to Dr. Debra Ann-Stephen John who to sacrificed her time to train me; to Pastor Stanford Simon, Sister Gail Blackette and Sister Kathy who were always there and ensured the trip to Australia was a success; to my mother who never failed to give her support; to my Church, Revival Faith Temple, friends and teachers, in particular Mr. Frederick, Ms. Degannes and Ms. Belmar; and  last but not least, to every other person who supported me and encouraged me throughout.  

  

~ Toya S. Ameda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pavan Sean Mahbubani

 

Competing in the first two years of the Grenada Brain Bee was a superb opportunity for me to learn more about the anatomy of the brain and nervous system, as well as how we store memories, why we need sleep, and how the brain changes as we age.

Additionally, being the first Grenadian representative at the International Brain bee was an enthralling experience. Travelling abroad and meeting bright minds from all over the world further stimulated my desire for learning as well as a desire to travel and meet new people. I got the opportunity to attend the American Psychological Association convention, which allowed me to see cutting edge developments and research in the fields of neuroscience and their applications in the real world.

While I did not end up pursuing neuroscience as a career, instead pursuing a degree in Economics, my experience in the Grenada Brain Bee will always be a highlight of my life. While my focus is no longer on neurological anatomy and diseases, the gap between neuroscience and behavioural economics is bridged every day, and hopefully my experience in the Grenada Brain Bee will continue to be relevant in my future career.

Pavan Sean Mahbubani, National Brain Bee Champion 2010

 

 

Sarah A. Ofori

 

The Grenada Brain Bee experience provided me with the best introduction towards embarking on a career in the medical field. The competition was more than that; the knowledge gained and the exposure was that of an undergraduate student in college. The work was challenging and the volume of information participants had to learn within a short time frame gave us all a glimpse of what a medical student may have to endure.

The set-up of the competition depicts what is expected of students along the way. Just as there is an entrance exam into most health professional schools, the first quiz mimics that as a weed-out process; furthermore, going on to shred-out students at progressively demanding rounds and finally producing a winner. The only area I would consider needed further development would be the practical portion. Anyone can memorize material and regurgitate it. We want students to learn and not just study; retention for life is something that the competition should strive to teach participants. I suggest that through the practical portion that we require students to demonstrate more skills. 

Overall, the Grenada Brain Bee challenge tremendously impacted my career choices. I personally, always loved the science field, so having the opportunity to take part in the competition; further catapulted my interest. I participated while I attended St. Joseph’s Convent; thereafter I went on to receive my Associates Degree in Science, Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Biochemistry and I currently working on my Doctorate of Pharmacology. I truly believe that my experience from Brain Bee stimulated my desire to continue along the medical track and shaped many of my decisions. 

Grenada Brain Bee is by far one of the best programs on the island available to secondary students who may feel like they want to pursue that field but aren’t quite sure. I would love to see the program continue to grow; and also I would like to contribute and give back in my way to Brain Bee.

Sarah A. Ofori 

 

 

Brady Langaigne 

 

I am Brady Langaigne, second year Medical Student at the St. George’s University (SGU). I must admit that my journey as medical student is supported by past activities like Brain Bee Competition which were responsible for arousing my interest in science during my very early time at Grenville Secondary School.

I was in form three at the time when the Principal walked into my classroom held a green book with a brain as the cover picture and ask who are interested in representing the school at the Brain Bee competition?  I thought to myself this will be a good initiative for me to get involve since I would’ve tried other activities and wasn’t really successful at them like sports. So I got involved and started my journey in neurological science. The rules for Brain Bee was very simple; engulf the book and regurgitate everything during the Preliminary, zonal and final competition.

 The engulfing (preparatory) stage thought me a few things like self-discipline and proper planning. It wasn’t that fun as a student having to study for 13 subjects and have to learn about the brain without any early help from teachers. However, this thought me that everything is possible through proper planning and hard work.  I burned the midnight oils and made a lot of sacrifice like using my spear time to push additional work on the brain. 

My hard work certainly paid off since I came first in the preliminary competition, I won my zonal competition and I placed second in the finals.

I will advise every student to take the leap and get involve in Brain Bee, it is just not a competition. The Brain Bee competition builds awareness of the brain, its function and also sparks interest of science in students.

Today, I still do apply the things I have learnt. I am able to identify the signs and symptoms of persons with mental disorders and other neurological problems; this would not have been possible if it wasn’t for my involvement in the Brain Bee competition.

 

 

 

 

 Blossom De Gale

 

This competition has been a wonderful experience. I entered with friends, with no expectations and without my parents' knowledge and I came out with more than I had expected: knowledge of something different and undoubtedly fascinating.

In the written stage, I was unprepared because I had only read a few chapters of the book. I urged our teacher on the day (without studying, myself) to attend so that my friend who wanted to, could have the courage to. The second stage was nerve wracking, I had only read the book once but it was better than the first round. It was then I truly realized how serious this competition really was, for my future, that is. For the finals, I was much more studious, I read the books several times and I went on the internet for more details. Competition day came quickly and it was challenging, but ultimately fun.

Neuroscience has been a field in which I was considering for a while and after the competition, I have been taking it much more seriously. I still do not know what I want to become in life but it might just be a part of this field.

- Blossom De Gale

 

 

Deadra Benjamin

 

 It is very true that life's experience contribute greatly to one's overall outlook on life. The gain of being a part of such a challenging, molding and esteem competition is beyond words. Partaking in the 2014 2015 Brain bee competition was an experience I will embrace and encourage anyone who has the opportunity to be a part of it to welcome it whole heartedly. From the very beginning I was consumed with excitement and more determination. As the various levels of the competition progressed I became even more overwhelmed. Entering into the finals as the only representative for an out of capital school gave me a feeling of achievement and honor. The journey although competitive in nature was very humbling and the care extended to us participants by the organizers must be highly acknowledged. I am grateful for the opportunity given to me and with the support of many including my family, friend’s school I journeyed through the finals with God's grace. I trust that to those given the opportunity will embrace it and do their best and take with them all the wonderful experiences that they will be exposed to. As I move on I have imprinted in my life the memorable wonder of actually holding a human brain. God bless and hope each one of you will make your own imprints as you go throughout the journey ahead.  

Deadra Benjamin

 

 

 Sarah A. Ofori

 

The Grenada Brain Bee experience provided me with the best introduction towards embarking on a career in the medical field. The competition was more than that; the knowledge gained and the exposure was that of an undergraduate student in college. The work was challenging and the volume of information participants had to learn within a short time frame gave us all a glimpse of what a medical student may have to endure.

The set-up of the competition depicts what is expected of students along the way. Just as there is an entrance exam into most health professional schools, the first quiz mimics that as a weed-out process; furthermore, going on to shred-out students at progressively demanding rounds and finally producing a winner. The only area I would consider needed further development would be the practical portion. Anyone can memorize material and regurgitate it. We want students to learn and not just study; retention for life is something that the competition should strive to teach participants. I suggest that through the practical portion that we require students to demonstrate more skills. 

Overall, the Grenada Brain Bee challenge tremendously impacted my career choices. I personally, always loved the science field, so having the opportunity to take part in the competition; further catapulted my interest. I participated while I attended St. Joseph’s Convent; thereafter I went on to receive my Associates Degree in Science, Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Biochemistry and I currently working on my Doctorate of Pharmacology. I truly believe that my experience from Brain Bee stimulated my desire to continue along the medical track and shaped many of my decisions. 

Grenada Brain Bee is by far one of the best programs on the island available to secondary students who may feel like they want to pursue that field but aren’t quite sure. I would love to see the program continue to grow; and also I would like to contribute and give back in my way to Brain Bee.

 

 

 Sarah A. Ofori