Westdale student wins brain bee
Westdale student hailed as the "best brain in Canada" after winning national competition to find future medical researchers.
Sharon Yang, 16, of Westdale High School in Hamilton won the CIHR National Brain Bee held at McMaster University on Saturday.
A Westdale Secondary School student with a 99 per cent average is being hailed as the "best brain in Canada" after winning a national competition for future stars of medical research. Sharon Yang will go to Vienna in September to compete internationally after winning the national brain bee Saturday at McMaster University put on annually by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research . "Wow, this is exciting," said Yang. "I knew I was pretty prepared but I didn't know how fierce the competition would be." The west Hamilton teen is graduating high school at the age of 16 this month and will go to McGill University in the fall with the hopes of becoming a doctor or medical researcher. She discovered the brain bee while studying for the medical college admissions test, a standardized exam for prospective medical students in Canada and the United States. "It thought it was cool," she said. "I've always been interested in biology. I think it's a really interesting career and it makes a huge contribution to society." She started preparing for the brain bee in February, recruiting a graduate student to help her after winning Hamilton's regional competition to be among the 13 students from across the country to compete nationally. The students identified parts of real brains and their function, diagnosed fictional patients and answered questions during the daylong competition. A student from St. John's, Newfoundland came in third, leaving Yang and a student from Guelph being quizzed head to head for the win. Yang won, 17 to 13. The last time a student from Hamilton won was in 2008. "It's really exciting," said Judith Shedden, founder and chair of the brain bee committee and associate professor at McMaster. "It was close." Yang said she celebrated by going out for dinner. "I didn't have to do the dishes.";