German Brain Bee 2016: the perfect combination of ambition, talent and fun!


On April 16th 2016, the 6th German Brain Bee took place in Heidelberg at the Spinal Cord Injury Center (Heidelberg University Hospital). Participating in the event were 43 high school students from all over Germany, bringing with them much excitement and a great deal of talent!


In fact, many of this year’s participants had participated in other Germany-wide high school competitions such as: Stephan Sprinz, Noah Castioni and Melvina Markmann, who have also competed in the Jugend-Forscht competition; Paul Bunk, Maximilian Conradi and Marvin Hirth, who participated in the Biologie-Olympiade; and Moritz Richter, who participated in the Chemie-Olympiade. Some students have also participated in previous Brain Bee competitions, such as 11th grade exchange student Mansoon Akbarzai. Speaking incredibly fluent German after having spent only a couple of months in Cologne, Mansoon Akarzai has participated in the USA Brain Bee before moving to Germany. In addition, some of our participants attend international schools in Heidelberg (Anna Flechtenmacher, Eduard Weber) or Berlin (Sarah-Michelle Hammer, Alissa Molotchko). During this year’s German Brain Bee competition, an exceptional student was allowed to participate in the event, although he was not eligible by age. Eighth grade student David Dosenbach from the Franziskus Gymnasium Mutlangen, who already attends the SchülerUNI program, was the youngest student ever to participate in the German Brain Bee, and was highly recommended by his teacher.

The event encompassed not only the usual five-part competition sessions (a short written test, a neuroanatomy exam, a patient diagnosis and two podium live question and answer rounds), but also short interviews and some fun activities at our neuroscience “Expo.” Thus, our student participants, as well as their friends and family, were encouraged to also participate in some fun scientific experiments, which created a more relaxed atmosphere: attentive listening and laughter seemed to be equally represented.

The German Brain Bee organizing committee was extremely impressed by the high-level of talent of this year’s participants. “It was a great pleasure to correct your exams!” admitted Ionut Dumitru, Ph.D. Student at the DKFZ in Heidelberg and member of the German Brain Bee academic team.


The German Brain Bee committee wholeheartedly congratulate Friedrich Schwarz (19, Schul- und Leistungssportzentrum Berlin), winner of the 2016 German Brain Bee! After an exciting and challenging day, he beat Daniel Dosenbach (13, Franziskus Gymnasium Mutlangen) in a neck and neck final podium session. This year’s podium discussions were led by three outstanding scientists, Prof. Norbert Weidner (Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Center), Dr. Wolfgang Kelsch (Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim) and Dr. Maren Engelhardt (Center for Biomedicine and Medical Technology Mannheim), who were as well extremely impressed by the talent of this year’s participants.

This year’s winner, Friedrich Schwarz, has the great opportunity to travel to Copenhagen (Denmark) to participate in the International Brain Bee competition and to join the FENS Forum, one of Europe’s greatest neuroscience conferences. Furthermore, Friedrich has volunteered to join the German Brain Bee organizing committee and to help establish a German Brain Bee competition in Berlin in 2017. We are very proud of all participants and grateful for the wonderful day that we could spend together, which was driven by fairness and team spirit. We hope to see some of you again next year!