BRAIN BEE (I OLIMPÍADA DE NEUROCIÊNCIAS DA GRANDE DOURADOS)
ResumoIntroduction: The Brain Bee is a neuroscience competition for elementary school students . It aims to encourage students to learn more about this science that is not explored at most school’s curriculum. The project was founded in 1998 in the USA and nowadays there are 150 committees spread all over the world, 11 of which are in Brazil. In 2017, medicine students of the Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados developed the “Olimpíada de Neurociências da Grande Dourados”, the first edition of the competition in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Objective: The aims of this project were the awakening of interest in elementary school students for the study of the science of fenomenum and behavior controlled by the nervous system in healthy and pathological situations. It also aimed to bring elementary students and teachers closer to the academic environment, promoting the comprehension of scientific knowledge and technological inovations as well as to stimulate the process of intellectual discovery by the students and their social, economic and cultural growing. Results: The “I Olimpíada de Neurociências da Grande Dourados” preparatory course took place in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul between January 23 and 27. They were ministered by the monitors (15 medicine students) for elementary school students from public and private institutions, enrolled online and free of charges. Neuroanatomy, neurohistology, basic and clinical neuroscience were some of the topics discussed and students showed enthusiasm during classes. The competition test happened on March 18th with 24 participants, elaborated by the monitors based on the topics discussed in classes with 47 questions. The test included quiz, objective and discursive questions. Three finalists were selected for the national phase of the competition in São Fidélis, Rio de Janeiro, in May 6 and 7. Two of them were able to travel to Rio de Janeiro with donations from sponsors and crowdfunding. Therefore, the city of Dourados was represented by two public school students, Icaro Fernando and Ingrid Santos. Conclusion: The "Olimpíada de Neurociências” motivated elementary school students to study neuroscience, awaken interests and vocations as well as having further contact with university and other schools students. For the two finalists, the experience went even further: they went deeper into neuroscience, visited other state and competed with students from all over the country. The competition also benefited the monitors by providing a immersion into neuroscience beyond classroom and improving abilities to teach and research.