Minnesota Brain Bee

The 2023 MN Brain Bee has been cancelled.

We look forward to resuming the competition in 2024.


Initial Step:

Before students can register for the initial round of the Brain Bee each classroom or individual must complete and submit a video for the MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Challenge. This year the challenge will ask entrants to create a short video (2-5 minutes) on neuromodulation for neuroprosthetics. Instructions for making the video and entering the challenge can be found here. The top three MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Challenge videos will each earn a $100 cash prize for their classroom. Once a classroom or individual submits a video for the MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Challenge, the student(s) can then be registered for the computerized exam by their teacher or proctor.

You do not need to complete the video or registration to begin preparing for the computerized online quiz. In fact, we recommend that students engage with the Brain Facts material as soon as possible to be ready to complete the quiz at their designated time.

Round 1:

This proctored computerized exam will be the first of three elimination rounds. It occurs at an arranged time at the participant(s) school or home. The top 30 students from this preliminary round will then progress to the State Competition held the following week.

The questions for both the Preliminary and State Competitions as previously mentioned come from the book Brain Facts published by the Society for Neuroscience. Brain Facts is available free online here.

The types of questions asked deal with such topics as: brain anatomy, neurodegenerative diseases, addiction, sleep and memory.

Round 2:

This is the first of two rounds held on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. In addition to competing in the final rounds, state finalists will also have an opportunity to tour the research laboratories of University of Minnesota neuroscientists. This round is a speed round where participants are asked questions to test their knowledge of the material.

Round 3:

The final round is a Jeopardy style round where each student will be asked the same question and asked to write their answer down. Each answer will be evaluated for accuracy by our panel of judges. The winner of the MN State Brain Bee will be the participant with the most correct answers at the end of this round. The first place winner of the State Competition will receive an all-expense paid trip to Baltimore, Maryland to compete at the National Competition, in addition to his/her first place prize. Second and third place winners will be awarded prizes as well.


The winner of the State Competition becomes eligible to compete at the National Competition in Baltimore, Maryland. This is an all-expense paid trip for the winner and one adult chaperone. In addition to the competition, students will participate in activities at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, tour the National Institutes of Health, participate in lectures given by noted neuroscientists and be eligible to win thousands of dollars in prizes.

The National Competition typically occurs in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, check out their website.

The first place winner of the National Competition will then progress to the International Brain Bee.


The International World Championship is the highest level in the International Brain Bee Competition. Participation in the World Championship is reserved only for National Brain Bee winners. It is four days of competition, conference experience, laboratory tours and cultural activities. It is hosted by a different country every year. For more information, check out the International Brain Bee website.