Representing the state, Desert Vista High School sophomore Gen Fitzgerald will compete in Washington D.C. next month for the National Brain Bee.

After winning the regional competition in December against more than 150 other students from around Arizona, Fitzgerald, 16, is the third student from Desert Vista to win the state-level neuroscience competition.

“I am so excited,” Fitzgerald said in an email. “I look forward to competing with representatives from other states, and testing my knowledge against them.”

The Brain Bee is a high school competition that tests students’ knowledge about the human brain with topics including intelligence, emotions, memory, sleep, vision, hearing, sensations, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, addictions and brain research.

In its sixth year, the competition will name a USA champion in early March, who will then go on to compete in the international competition during the summer.

Despite this year being the first Brain Bee for Fitzgerald, he has high hopes he’ll advance yet another round.

Though several international competitors for the Brain Bee have come from the United States in the competition’s history, the last time a competitor from Arizona made it to the international level was in 2000.

“Hopefully I will continue on to the international competition,” Fitzgerald said, adding that he wants to pursue neuroscience and medicine after graduation.

“There continues to be discoveries (made) about the brain, and it’s an area of learning with a lot of potential.”

For more information about the Brain Bee, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.

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