Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Brainy school boy to represent New Zealand

Media Release
6 August 2008

Brainy school boy to represent New Zealand

An Auckland school boy will be heading to the US to represent New Zealand in the International Brain Bee Challenge.

Sixteen year old Stephen Mackereth, a year 11 student from Kings College, was named New Zealand winner of the Brain Bee Challenge finals held at the Queensland Brain Institute this week.

Stephen won his way through two rounds of neuroscience questions, an anatomy exam and a doctor–patient diagnosis test to really impress the judges with his outstanding knowledge of brain function and disease.

As winner of the New Zealand Brain Bee, Stephen now has the right to compete at the International Brain Bee Challenge in Baltimore in 2009.
Stephen Mackereth looks much the same as any other young man his age. But in what might be a clue to his inner strengths, he admits a passion for learning “almost anything”.

“My favourite subjects have always been maths and the sciences, but I enjoy languages too,” he said. “I’ve studied Latin and Spanish, and I’m currently trying to teach myself Ancient Greek.”

“It is very exciting to have New Zealand represented for the first time at the International Brain Bee Challenge,” says Associate Professor Louise Nicholson, the New Zealand Coordinator. “All of us here in New Zealand, including our major sponsors, the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand and the CatWalk Trust, are thrilled at the way our schools have taken on the Brain Bee Challenge. The event, now run in both Auckland and Otago, can only grow as the interest and enthusiasm rises across the country”.

ABBC National Coordinator, Associate Professor Linda Richards said the Brain Bee remained one of the most important and exciting programs on the neuroscience calendar because it had become the ‘showcase’ for the brightest young minds in neuroscience.

“The Brain Bee encourages secondary school students to learn about the brain, and helps to raise the profile of neuroscience research and neurological and psychiatric disorders and diseases facing our community,” Dr Richards said. “A goal of the Brain Bee Challenge is to promote science as a career with a particular focus on neuroscience.”

Established in New Zealand in 2006, the Brain Bee Challenge is coordinated in New Zealand by the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at The University of Auckland. In 2008, the competition was introduced to schools in Otago and Southland in conjunction with the Brain Health and Repair Research Centre at the University of Otago. A total of 1400 students from across New Zealand competed in the competition, with the New Zealand finals being held at The University of Auckland and the University of Otago in June.

Major sponsors include The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, the Brain Health & Repair Research Centre University of Otago, the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand, the CatWalk Trust, Carl Zeiss Pty Ltd, The Australian Neuroscience Society, The University of Queensland, and the Queensland Brain Institute.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>


NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

Kid Lit: Lost Mansfield Story Discovered At Wellington Library

Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in Wellington City Library’s archives by a local author researching a book about the famous writer. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland