SM East brainiac Bethany Snyder shows well in area neuroscience challenge

Winners of the this year's Brain Bee posed with the co-presidents of the  Kansas City Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. Pictured are (from left) Angela Pierce (Co-President); Allen Chen, Blue Valley CAPS (4th place); Sarmila Venkoba Sah, Blue Valley North (2nd place); Debolina Kanjilal, Blue Valley West (winner); Bethany Snyder, Shawnee Mission East (3rd place); and John Stanford (Co-President).
Winners of the this year’s Brain Bee posed with the co-presidents of the Kansas City Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. Pictured are (from left) Angela Pierce (Co-President); Allen Chen, Blue Valley CAPS (4th place); Sarmila Venkoba Sah, Blue Valley North (2nd place); Debolina Kanjilal, Blue Valley West (winner); Bethany Snyder, Shawnee Mission East (3rd place); and John Stanford (Co-President).

A local student has shown she can flex the muscle* between her ears with the best of them.

SM East student Bethany Snyder finished third overall in this past weekend’s annual Brain Bee, a challenge that tests local high schoolers on the basics of brain health and neuroscience.

Prairie Village resident and University of Kansas Medical Center Associate Professor of molecular and integrative physiology John Stanford is the current co-president of the Society for Neuroscience Kansas City Chapter.

Stanford said Brain Bee, which is in its eighth year, is a great way to increase interest in neuroscience among promising high schoolers. This year, a record 47 Kansas City-area students participated in the event, which is formatted much like a spelling bee, with students writing their answers to random questions about the brain and neuroscience on notecards in the early rounds. In the final rounds, the remaining students give their answers aloud in front of the crowd.

“These are high achieving students,” Stanford said of the competitors.

Snyder advanced to the final rounds of the competition, but was beat out by Debolina Kanjilal of Blue Valley West, the overall winner, and Sarmila Venkoba Sah of Blue Valley North, who finished second.

Three other SM East students participated in the event as well: Abby Blake, Shaon Borosha and Ana Carpio.

*(Dear neuroscientists: I know it’s not actually a muscle)