Brain bee winners

The top three winners of the USA Brain Bee Championship this year are all Indian American student (l-r): Amit Kannan, who came in third place; winner Sojas Wagle; and runner-up Aarthi Vijayakumar. (UAABrainBee Facebook photo)

Indian American teenagers swept to victory this month at the USA Brain Bee Championship, with Sojas Wagle, a 15-year-old sophomore at Springdale’s Har-Ber High School in Arkansas, declared the 2017 national champion of the three-day competition.

The championship is held annually at the University of Maryland, according to a report on arkansasonline.com.

Wagle beat runner-up Aarthi Vijayakumar of Minneapolis, and Amit Kannan of Indianapolis, who came in at third place. In addition to going to Washington, D.C., in August for the International Brain Bee Championship, Wagle won an eight-week internship in a neuroscience laboratory. A donation will also be given to the brain-disorder charity of his choice, the Alzheimer's Association, the website reported.

The international competition will be held Aug. 3-6, in conjunction with the American Psychological Association conference.

Winners from 51 Brain Bee chapters in 30 states competed March 17-19 in Baltimore in the event hosted by the University of Maryland, and featured written and oral exams, patient diagnoses using actor patients, and microscopic slide studies.

"I studied harder and kind of perfected the neuroanatomy section to make sure I was familiar with all parts of the brain and could point those out on a brain model," Wagle told arkansasonline.com.

The Arkansas teen, who also does debate and plays the violin, is considering a career in medicine, possibly neurology. He is the son of Sameer Wagle, a neonatologist, and Aparna Wagle, a computer laboratory manager for the Springdale School District.

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