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Genazzano celebrates Neurodiversity with its ‘Explain the Brain’ competition

28 Jul 2020

During May and June, secondary students from Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, were invited to participate in the annual ‘Explain the Brain’ competition, designed to promote interest and understanding about the brain.

An initiative of Genazzano Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences, and hosted and promoted by Education Perfect, this fourth year of competition was highly successful, with some fabulous entries from more than 120 students.

This year’s theme was Neurodiversity, with students invited to create and submit a short original video or infographic to highlight, explain or promote the brain.  

Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are recognised and respected, just like any other human variation. Differences can include Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autism and others.

Students were encouraged to use interesting and creative ways to communicate their entry; and were judged based on the accuracy of the information they shared, the effectiveness of the message about neurodiversity, and the creativity and innovation in the presentation of their submission.

There were a number of creative and well researched entries that demonstrated an incredible amount of insight and learning from the students that participated; with Autism, Inclusive Practices, Dyslexia and ADHD popular topics showcased.

Director of the Genazzano Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Ms Catherine Brandon, was thrilled with the take up from all schools.  

“It’s wonderful to see so many schools engage with the opportunity to learn about and promote neurodiversity with their students, especially while learning at a distance”, she said.

Proudly supported by Untapped and Genazzano FCJ College, the competition, sent to 50,000 teachers worldwide, provided an important forum for students to learn about brain differences and inclusion through online lessons and research for their creations.

This year, the judges at Untapped, generously awarded additional prizes to recognise the high quality of entries and the importance of the topic.

First prize of $250 was jointly awarded to Asiya Shajahan (Year 9) of Al-Taqwa College and Chau Tran (Year 9) of Perth Modern School. 

Similarly there were joint winners for second of $150 and third prize of $100. Congratulations to second prize winners, Elle Chentang, Arlyne Sony and Shimaa Ibrahim (Year 11) of Perth Modern School for their group entry and Senithya Karunaratne (Year 9) of Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School; and Sayma Shaikh (Year 9) of Al-Taqwa College and Rosa Dunbar (Year 11) of Lincoln High School for their third place.   

Honourable Mentions were also awarded to Hannah Chen (Year 7) of Perth Modern School and Jasmine Tucker (Year 8) of Applecross Senior High School. 

The schools with most valid entries were Perth Modern School and Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, who both received $500 and had 19 entries each.

Education Perfect is an online learning platform enabling transformative teaching and learning experiences for lifelong learners. It is used by over 1 million students from more than 2,000 schools for their learning and revision and to improve student learning outcomes and magnify the value of a teacher in the classroom.

Untapped’s mission is to build high-performing teams from groups of highly-skilled individuals. They are passionate about identifying commercially-compelling opportunities in organisations for neurodiverse teams and uncovering extraordinary individuals to form those teams. The identification of this untapped talent will be achieved via the growing Neurodiversity Hub community of practice and other partnerships.

The Genazzano Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences is an educational initiative to promote knowledge and practice in the evolving fields of learning and brain sciences for students, educators and the wider community.

Genazzano FCJ College is a Catholic Day and Boarding School in Kew offering a co-educational Early Learning Centre and all-girls environment from Prep to Year 12. It offers students a rounded education that prepares them to become resilient, adaptable and confident women.

Screenshot from one of the winning ‘Explain the Brain’ entries by Asiya Shajahan. Click here to watch the video.