Division of BioMedical Sciences

News, Events and Dates - Brain Storm



May 7, 2017

Congratulations to all competitors in Brain Storm 2017.

It was a tough and close competition. 35 high school students from around the province displayed their knowledge of neuroscience. Pictures to follow soon.

Brain Storm Competition 2017 Standings  
# Name High School City  
1 William Hibbs Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
2 Kayla Warren St James Regional High Port aux Basques  
3 Owen Martin Holy Heart St John's  
4 Taylor Smith Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
5 Mya Staubitzer Holy Heart St John's  
6 Noah Parsons Holy Heart St John's  
7 Justine Yick Prince of Wales Collegiate St John's  
8 Timothy Hong Waterford Valley High School St John's  
9 Gregory Butt Gonzaga High School St John's  
10 Zachary Matchem Prince of Wales Collegiate St John's  
11 Mitchell Mehaney New World Island Academy Summerford  
12 Jenna Power Holy Heart St John's  
13 Katie Bennett Gonzaga High School St John's  
14 Madelyn Swackhamer Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
15 Chelsea Barrett Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
16 Jenny Gillespie Holy Heart St John's  
17 Becca Seward Holy Heart St John's  
18 Jonathan Hutchings-Pryor Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
19 Adam Herritt John Watkins Academy  Hermitage  
20 Heather Dormody Gonzaga High School St John's  
21 Reem Abdel-Rahim Holy Heart St John's  
22 Adam Pike Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
23 Michelle Chafe Prince of Wales Collegiate St John's  
24 Haley Leonard Corner Brook Regional High Corner Brook  
25 Kyra Thompson Mount Pearl Senior High Mount Pearl  
26 Mackenzie Nolan Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
27 Raegan Hussey Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
28 Yumma Madi Prince of Wales Collegiate St John's  
29 Kaitlyn Bishop Ascension Collegiate, Bay Roberts  
30 Taylor Martin Random Island Academy St John's  
31 Sydney Smith Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
32 Samantha Kao Holy Heart St John's  
33 Victoria Butler Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
34 Allyson Ricketts Ascension Collegiate Bay Roberts  
35 Madison Farr Leo Burke Academy Bishop's Falls  

March 7, 2017
Preparations for Brain Storm 2017 are well underway.

The Brain Storm will be held on Saturday May 6th, 2017 in the Health Sciences at Memorial University.

Dr. Jacqueline Vanderluit and Ms. Katie Fifield are co-organizing the event. If you have any questions or need any information, please feel free to contact us. 

Brain Storm information has been sent out to schools across the province. If your school or your teacher has not received the information, please let us know.
The Brain Storm In-School Quizzes and Answer Keys will be sent out to all schools that have responded that they have students interested in competing in the Brain Storm. They will be sent out this week between March 8 - 10.  Teachers please have your students complete the quiz and submit the grades to me by April 15th so we can let you know who has qualified for the provincial Brain Storm in a timely manner.
This year we are sending out the Neuroscience booklet to each of the schools as the booklet apparently is no longer a free download.
Last but not least, good luck to all students studying for the competition!

Saturday May 7, 2016
Brain Storm 2016

Congratulations to all participants!  Brain Storm 2016 was a success. We started off the morning with an exciting introduction on how the brain works by Dr. Alan Goodridge. The students were tested through 3 rounds of neuroscience questions. In between rounds, they toured the Neuroscience research labs and enjoyed a pizza lunch. In the last round, three students Olivia Barrett, Francine Burke and Leah Paranavitana battled it out for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  Below are the final standings for Brain Storm 2016. Congratulations to Olivia Barrett who will represent NL in the national competition in Hamilton on May 28th.

Brain Storm Competition 2016 Standings
Placing  Name High School
1 Olivia Barrett Clarenville
2 Francine Burke Dunne Memorial
3 Leah Paranavitana Holy Heart
4 Jenna Marsh Holy Heart
5 Stephanie Boone Exploits Valley High
6 Kayla Warren St James Regional High
7 Jenna Power Holy Heart
8 Kristen Dooley Exploits Valley High
9 Anna Corbett Gonzaga High School
10 Rebecca Allen Holy Spirit
11 Hayley Kirby Exploits Valley High
12 Marina Saad Gander Collegiate
13  Brittany Brown Exploits Valley High
14 Rebecca Spurrell Waterford Valley High
15 David Minnett Holy Heart
16 Carissa Pike Baccalieu Collegiate
17 Harrison Vallis St Anne School
18 Nathan Gerow Prince of Wales Collegiate
19 Sophia Williams Prince of Wales Collegiate
20 Abigail Locke-Lush Elwood High School
21 Josh Winter Gander Collegiate
22 Beth Elliott Gonzaga High School
23 Tanisha Furlong Holy Heart
24 Morgan Hyde Baccalieu Collegiate
25 Jacinda Young St Anne School
26 Erika Noel Exploits Valley High
27 Yuvraj Thind King Academy
28 Amber Cook Gander Collegiate
29 Nicholas Gushue Holy Heart
30 Allyson Pike Gonzaga High School


March 23, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Quick update. The Brain Storm In-School Quizzes, Score sheet and Guidelines were emailed out between March 7-9, 2016. I hope everyone has received their packages. Please contact me if you did not receive the package or if you have any questions. Teachers, please send in the students scores with the full name of the students by April 15th.
In the meantime, preparations for the provincial Brain Storm are well under way. Our Neuroscience graduate students have been working hard to prepare activities for the Friday evening social, the lab tours and collecting fun prizes through the community sponsors. The excitement is building!

Jackie Vanderluit, PhD
Brain Storm 2016 Co-organizer

February 2016
Hi everyone, 
Preparations for Brain Storm 2016 are underway!

We will be sending out this year’s in-school information packages in January and early February. Please let us know whether you have students interested in participating. The ‘in-school’ component of the competition can be held between March 1 –March 31, 2016. Students whose in-school quiz marks rank in the top 50 in the province will be invited for the provincial championship. The provincial Brain Storm competition will be held on May 7, 2016 in the Health Sciences Centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s. A social night is planned for the student competitors on the evening of Friday May 6th.

For those of you unfamiliar with our competition, information concerning the competition, organization, rules and neuroscience source material and our contact information can be found under the Contest Info, Guidelines and Contact US tabs on the left.
If you have any questions regarding this year's Brain Storm please don't hesitate to contact myself, Dr. Jackie Vanderluit at jvanderl@mun.ca or my co-organizer, Ms. Katie Fifield at c37kef@mun.ca  

We will be contacting schools and sending e-mails regarding participation in the 2016 competition over the next few weeks and up until early February 2016. As teachers, if you have any connection to other schools that have not previously participated, please spread the word! 
Looking forward to speaking with you soon! 
The Organizers of the Newfoundland Brain Storm Competition

January 12, 2015 - Brain Storm 2015 Preparations

Hi everyone, 

Preparations for Brain Storm 2015 are well underway! We have booked facilities for the 2015 competition to be held May 2, 2015 along with a social night May 1st.

For those of you who are familiar with our competition, my name is Lauren and I have taken over the role of co-organizer along with Dr. Jackie Vanderluit. If you have any questions regarding this year's Brain Storm please don't hesitate to contact me at lauren.fogarty@mun.ca. 

We will be phoning schools and sending e-mails regarding participation in the 2015 competition over the next few weeks and up until early February 2015. As teachers, if you have any connection to other schools that have not previously participated, please spread the word! 

Looking forward to speaking with you soon!

Lauren Fogarty
Brain Storm 2015 Co-organizer


June 10, 2014 - Brain Storm 2014 Provincial Standings

Hi everyone,

The provincial standings are now available. Click here to view the pdf. Some photos from the event are also available by clicking here. Standings and photos from this year and last year are available under "Contest Info" on the left-hand menu.

Thanks for coming out!

R. Brian Roome, M.Sc
Brain Storm 2014 Co-organizer

May 5, 2014 - Brain Storm 2014 Wrap Up

Hi everyone,

This year's Brain Storm competition has been another success.

This year we would like to congratulate our top 3 students:

Jane Cooze from Pearson Academy (Wesleyville) took 1st place, and she will be representing Newfoundland at the National Brain Bee in Hamilton, Ontario on May 31st, 2014. Our 2nd place winner was Hamza Shogan from Gander Collegiate (Gander), and our 3rd place winner was Liam Gregory from Prince of Wales Collegiate (St John's).

Our social night was very well received this year. I would like to thank Victoria Linehan and Mahmud Hasan for organizing, directing and running and the entire night as they did an impeccable job.

We would like to thank all of our funding sources: Society for Neuroscience, MUN Faculty of Medicine, MUN Office of Student Recruitment, Scotia McLeod, Mikan Inc and the Newfoundland Chocolate Company for their perennial support. We would also like to thank the following businesses and organizations for their generous prize donations for the competition: Wallnuts, Starbucks, Montana's, Johnson Geo Centre, The MUN Bookstore and Recreation NL. We would also like to thank efforts by our volunteers and by the teachers who organized and ran the qualifying quizzes.

We will send placement information and photos of the event to the schools over the next few weeks. Fuel reimbursements are being processed and should be mailed over the next few weeks as well. 

On behalf of Dr. Vanderluit and myself, it's been a pleasure organizing the competition and working with the volunteers, students and teachers who make it possible. 

R. Brian Roome, M.Sc
Brain Storm 2014 Co-organizer

April 3, 2014 - Brain Storm 2014 Quiz Deadline Approaching

Hi everyone,

The due date for quiz marks is fast approaching. All marks are required to be submitted to myself (rroome@mun.ca) or Dr. Vanderluit (jvanderl@mun.ca) no later than Monday April 7th, 2014. We will be e-mailing teachers with invitations to the provincial competition no later than Friday April 11th, 2014. All the necessary information for students invited to the provincial competition will be sent to teachers in an updated information package. We will require that invited students fill out a registration form, which can be faxed or scanned & e-mailed back to us. This form will be included in the information package.

If there are any issues with scheduled quiz dates as a result of this week's storm, please contact me immediately.

R. Brian Roome, M.Sc

Mar 14, 2014 - Brain Storm 2014 Participation Deadline


Hi everyone,

Today is the final date which schools will be contacted to participate in the qualifying quiz for Brain Storm 2014. April 7th is the deadline for returning graded quizzes to myself or Dr. Vanderluit. If you have any interested students and have not received the quiz and answer key, please contact us promptly.

R. Brian Roome, M.Sc

Mar 1, 2014 - Brain Storm Quiz Update


Hi everyone,

This is an update on the quiz for Brain Storm 2014. Due to a bug circulating, we've had people unable to complete parts of the quiz during this past week. We will be postponing the release of the quiz until March 7th.

To be fair, we will be extending the deadline for quiz marks to be returned until April 7th, 2014. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

R. Brian Roome, M.Sc

Dec 19, 2014 - Brain Storm 2014 e-mails have been sent

Hi everyone,

Information packages and posters have been sent in e-mails to all contacts I have already obtained. Please forward your information to any high school biology teachers who might be interested. Quizzes will be sent from February 28th, so make sure everybody has their "Neuroscience - Science of the Brain" booklets. We recommend 3 weeks to prepare for the quiz, as usual.

We are spending extra effort to involve as many Labrador, southwestern and northwestern schools this year. If anybody is aware of any local charitable organizations which could help fund students' travel, please contact myself or Dr. Vanderluit (rroome@mun.ca, jvanderl@mun.ca).

I will update the directions once the quizzes are in. We will be moving the competition across the road this year to the Bruneau Center. It's a minor change, but be advised that this will be updated in the "Location" page.

Thanks, and have a happy (and safe!) holiday season!

R. Brian Roome, M.Sc

Nov 27, 2013 - Brain Storm 2014 Preparations

Hi everyone,

Preparations for Brain Storm 2014 are underway. We are currently looking into booking facilities for the 2014 competition. These include facilities at the Faculty of Medicine, as well as looking into conference rates for on-campus housing and/or hotels.

We will be phoning schools and sending e-mails regarding participation in the 2014 competition over the next few weeks and up until early February 2014. As we will be doing extensive planning during the pre-holiday period, please send any critiques or suggestions for the 2014 Brain Storm to rroome@mun.ca. In particular, we will be discussing the flow of events during competition day, as well as ways to make the social night more engaging.

I would like to mention that last year's competition was the largest and arguably the most competitive in our history with Neria Aylward placing 3rd nationally. We anticipate further growth this year, on top of our previous success. As teachers, if you have any connection to other schools which have not previously participated, please spread the word! Despite our best efforts, we are unable to reach some schools and/or they remain unresponsive.

I'll be in touch soon!

R. Brian Roome, M.Sc

May 1, 2013 - Brain Storm 2013 Wrap-UP

Hi everyone,

I apologize for the delay in contacting everybody regarding Brain Storm standings. These are available under Contest Info, on the left hand side of the page. I will be sending a group e-mail to all teachers tomorrow or Thursday with all the relevant details.

This year's competition was quite a success. From last year, we have had a significant rise in the number of school and the number of students participating in the preliminary quizzes (both numbers roughly doubled. That said, this has presented us with some challenges.

Faced with a significant increase in students from western Newfoundland, we were unprepared to low-cost lodgings under short notice. This has been one of the most prominent issues with 2013's competition, and we have discussed it extensively. We are looking into getting conference rates for rooms at MUN's residences for next year - this means the 2014 competition date will be pushed back until MUN Housing allows us to use the residences (after the winter semester has ended), likely early May.

While the number of students participating in the provincial competition has been quite high this year as well, only 34 of the 50 invited attended the competition. Many students had to refuse due to prior commitments. We hope to send additional rounds of invites in the future, when higher ranking students refuse invitations. This process will involve a longer interval between the due date for quiz marks and the competition itself (longer than our current 3-week span). More information will be made available toward the end of 2013 or early 2014.

Though we were faced with challenges, I would like to celebrate our achievements as well. The social night went quite well. While we have learned a lot from the experience, and have a list of things we would like to change, we felt that overall the social night was a success and will be run in future years. We will make more information available sooner in advance for next year's social night, as much of the logistics have been worked out.

I would also like to celebrate our top contenders: Neria Aylward (1st place, St. John's), Nicholas Burke (2nd place, St. Mary's) and Roshni Kollipara (3rd place, Corner Brook). With such a strong set of contenders this year it was difficult to eliminate people in the first round, and you have made it through all three rounds! All of you have certainly earned your award.

I would like to extend thanks to all of our sponsors, teachers, students, volunteers and the faculty and staff here at Biomedical Sciences for making this year's competition such a success. If I am here next year, I'll be in contact with teachers again in January. I hope I will be around; there are still a lot of things to improve with the competition. The social night is one of many ideas in my sketchbook...we'll see how it goes.

R. Brian Roome, B.Sc

March 23, 2013 - Social Night!

High school students! We are considering hosting a social night on April 19th, the night prior to the Brain Storm competition. We're hoping to personalize the competition a bit more - this will give you a chance to ask questions about the competition, talk with MUN students about their research over some food, have a chance to win prizes, and meet other students who are interested in neuroscience. It would be around 2 hours long on Friday. Teachers and high school students: Let us know if there's anything you'd like to see us organize for that kind of night.

You can contact me at rroome@mun.ca with your suggestions.

Additionally, I'd like to remind everybody that quiz marks are due by the end of next week (March 29th). Are you going to be one of the 50 competing at provincials? This is the last week to study! Hope to see you there!

R. Brian Roome, B.Sc


March 4, 2013 - Quiz & answer key progress, funding, and volunteer recruitment.

Hi everyone,

First, I would like to mention that the quiz and answer key are nearing completion, and it will be sent to your e-mail before the end of this week. We are reviewing the questions again with the judges to assess how relevant they are to the material in the information booklet.

Second, Dr. Vanderluit and Iwould like to extend our thanks to the Society for Neuroscience for providing us with a very generous grant toward Brain Storm 2013 expenses. These grants allow us to subsidize student travel to the provincial competition, fund student travel to the national Brain Bee competition, and contend with various overhead costs associated with running the provincial competition here at MUN. I feel like the impact of the Brain Storm competition is truly being felt province-wide this year, and will be even moreso in years to come. We truly appreciate all the teachers across the province who have volunteered to recruit high school students and hold the in-school quiz competitions.

Third, we are recruiting volunteers for a variety of planning related tasks concerning the provincial competition on April 20, 2013. Lots of things have to be done between now and then. As well, we are also interested in volunteers helping out on the day of the competition, not just for preparation. If sharing exciting science and inspiring our high school students is your idea of fun, then please contact me at rroome@mun.ca, or on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/MunBrainStorm

This is our last week of recruiting. If you know any teachers that may be interested in participating, please contact them this week.


R. Brian Roome, B.Sc


February 26, 2013 - Brain Storm 2013 Progress Report


I've nearly finished contacting schools across the province. A few schools have been difficult to contact, but already there are much more schools participating compared to last year. Again, please contact any biology teachers you know and get them interested in hosting Brain Storm. 

Regular updates will be posted here and on the facebook page:

As a reminder, some deadlines have changed: Quiz marks are now due March 29th (not the 15th) and the competition has been bumped ahead a week to April 20th.

We recommend students are tested at approximately 3 weeks after the information booklet is given out - plan accordingly.

I will provide more updates as the competition draws closer.


R. Brian Roome, B.Sc


January 30, 2013 - Brain Storm 2013 Progress Report

Good morning everyone,

We are still working on information packages and quizzes, and are aiming to make this information available in two weeks. The promotional video may take slightly longer than two weeks to be available. However, even if the video is made available later in February, quizzes do not need to be written before late March. If more students become interested after seeing the video, there will be plenty of time for them to study before quizzes must be written.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail myself or Dr. Vanderluit at rroome@mun.ca or jvanderl@mun.ca respectively.


R. Brian Roome, B.Sc

January 15, 2013 - Brain Storm 2013 (Progress Report)

Good afternoon everyone,

I have just finished sending e-mails out to over fifty schools province-wide seeking interested science teachers to host Brain Storm quizzes. It's quite difficult to contact smaller schools, so if you know of any k-12 schools which may have interested teachers, please direct them to me.

I will contact teachers over the next few weeks by phone to follow up on the e-mails. When I have received responses from the majority of these schools, we will prepare an information package containing in-depth information on how to administer the quizzes, what to do if students are selected as finalists, and important deadlines and dates. This package will contain a printable poster to attract student interest as well as a promotional video. Note: If you have begun gauging student interest, we do not need a list of names. Names and grades will collected after the quizzes have been completed (later in March - the deadlines will be made available when the quizzes are, don't worry!).

Thank you, and I will be in touch,

R. Brian Roome, B.Sc


January 10, 2013 - Brain Storm 2013 - Current Schedule

Hello teachers and students! We are currently distributing e-mails gauging interest for this year's competition. The date for this year's competition is April 20, 2012, and will be held at the Faculty of Medicine here at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

If you have received an e-mail, please notify myself or Dr. Vanderluit if you plan on participating. In the next few weeks we will update you on when the quizzes will be done, as well as other important dates. For the interest of students, we will provide a printable poster which can be placed around the school. Additionally, we will be preparing a promotional video which we recommend be shown to classes in order to improve participation.

Thank you for your participaton, and check back regularly for more information.

R. Brian Roome, B.Sc



November 28, 2012 - Brain Storm 2013: Planning and Preparations

Hello teachers and students,

Planning is underway for the Brain Storm Competition 2013. Please check back regularly for updates. I will be contacting teachers over the next few weeks regarding participation in this year's competition.

Please be advised: "Brain Facts" is no longer the official text we will be basing questions on. The new current text is "Neuroscience - Science of the Brain" by the British Neuroscience Association. This book is free to download like before, and can be found at http://www.bna.org.uk/static/brain-science.php. If you are considering supplementing your classes with information relevant to Brain Storm, please use the new "Neuroscience - Science of the Brain" as a reference.

IIf you are a teacher and I have not contacted you or your school regarding Brain Storm participation, please contact myself (rroome@mun.ca) or Dr. Vanderluit (jvanderl@mun.ca) for more information. If you participated in Brain Storm last year, you will receive more information on the 2013 competition in the weeks to come.

Thank you!

R. Brian Roome, B.Sc


April 19 2012 - Brain Storm 2012 Placements

The 2012 Brain Storm competition was a great success. Thank you to our donors, supporters, volunteers, teachers and especially the students!

Student placements are now online for Brain Storm 2012, click here to view. Thank you to everybody for participating!

If there are any questions concerning Brain Storm 2012, contact contest organizers Dr. Jackie Vanderluit (j.vanderluit@mun.ca) or Mr. Brian Roome (rroome@mun.ca).