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Sylvia Lambert, left, Principal of Bob Jones High School, congratulates Puja Chopade in succeeding as Alabama Brain Bee Champion for 2021. CONTRIBUTED

Puja Chopade reigns as 2021 Alabama Brain Bee Champion

MADISON – Showing a mastery of the gamut of subjects, Puja Chopade has claimed the title of 2021 Alabama Brain Bee Champion.

Chopade is a junior at Bob Jones High School.

Affiliated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Alabama Brain Bee is a neuroscience competition for high school students. Brain Bee activities are held annually in conjunction with UAB Neuroscience Day. (uab.edu/brainbee)

Following Chopade’s first-place win, Anmol Guard from Loveless Academic Magnet Program or LAMP in Montgomery ranked in second place. By winning the state title, Chopade qualifies to attend the 2021 National Brain Bee Championship.

Local brain bee competitions culminate in the International Brain Bee. In 1999, Dr. Norbert Myslinski founded the international contest to motivate “our youth to learn more about the brain. We need their energy and their passion to help find cures for autism, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and other brain disorders.”

Local competitions usually have multiple choice and oral components. The national competition consists of neuroanatomical practicals, neurohistological slide readings, patient diagnosis and MRI reading components.

For the local Brain Bee, Chopade wants to see more students represent North Alabama. Specifically, she wants to see girls in higher numbers at the competition.

In addition, Chopade is taking this competition a notch higher in 2022. She plans on coaching and mentoring students from Bob Jones and James Clemens High School alike to represent North Alabama in Brain Bee 2022.

Currently, she is recruiting students who have an aptitude for all ‘Brain’ subjects and are excited about the Brain Bee competition. With no time to lose and less than three months to prepare, Puja Chopade is focusing on having a strict study timeline for all her students.

In academic-based activities, Chopade ranked as second-place finalist in Pathophysiology at the HOSA State Leadership Conference (HOSA represents “Future Health Professionals.”) in early 2021. Her Science Bowl team claimed the regional title.

Chopade is President and co-founder of Bob Jones Science Academy, which hosted the Bob Jones Science Challenge, a district-wide technical competition.

An accomplished chess player in Madison City Chess League, Chopade served as Assistant Tournament Director at the 2021 Fall Scholars Tournament. She reached the Top Ten in the 2020 Madison City Schools Fall Scholars Tournament in the K-12 Open Section. Chopade tied for third place in the U1200 section of the Alabama State Chess Championship in 2020.

She was the fifth-place contestant in individual play in the K-12 Section of the 2020 All Girls State Chess Championship.

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