2016-12-12 / Front Page

TA’s Nguyen wins regional Brain Bee

By LIZ GOTTHELF
Staff Writer

SACO — Thornton Academy junior Bao Phuc Nguyen moved to Saco from Vietnam last year to attend school and focus on academics.

His hard work paid off on Dec. 6 when he won first place in the Southern Maine Regional Brain Bee at the University of New England. Students from Thornton Academy, Kennebunk High School and Biddeford High School participated in the neuroscience, quiz show style competition.

Questions focused on topics such as neurotransmitters, brain functions and diseases, said Nguyen. He said the last round of the competition, it was down to just him and another student and he didn’t think he would win. “It was very tense,” he said.

As the regional winner, Nguyen will be participating in the National Brain Bee Competition in Maryland in March.

He said he’s excited to be traveling and will be studying hard for the competition, as there will be lots of smart students from around the country competing.

“Every day I try to learn more,” he said.

Nguyen is a member of Thornton Academy’s Neuroscience Club. Members of the club had been coming to school early once a week to study for the competition, said club advisor and science teacher Jessica Cardosi.

Nguyen said he made it to the second round last year, which inspired him to study harder for the competition this year. He said the information he learned in AP psychology and biology classes has also been helpful.

“It wasn’t luck. It was a lot of hard work,” said Cardosi.

Nguyen said he plans to study bio-chemistry in college, and enjoys science because the subject matter pertains to everyday life.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or egotthelf@journaltribune.com.

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