He is only in Year 10, but The Armidale School’s Sambavan Jeyakumar has won for himself a $20,000 university scholarship after placing second in a school competition about the brain and its functions.
Run by the Faculty of Medicine at Western Sydney University on Monday (22 August), this year’s State final of Australian Brain Bee Challenge involved 100 finalists who took part in three rounds of questions including brain anatomy and physiology, neuroscience, diseases, and technology. The finalists were selected from 2000 participants who took part in an online test earlier in the year.
After the first round of 30 questions, Sambavan made it through to the top eight students. He then scored 13 from 15 questions to progress to the final three students, and in the final round, achieved full marks.
“I was pretty excited – I was hoping to do well and was pleased to make the top three,” Sambavan said. “I was down by a point going into the final round behind a girl from the Illawarra, and as neither of us then got a question wrong, that was the end result.”
Sambavan said the pressure was intense, particularly in the last two rounds. He prepared for the competition with study of a set text, and some goodwill from his sister.
“They gave us a text book when we made the top 100 so I studied that – and I was helped by my sister Ragavi, who came third last year. I want to study Medicine, so the scholarship is peace of mind as something to fall back on,” he said.