Congratulations to the 2019 Toronto Brain Bee Competitors !

The Firefly Foundation has been the sponsor of the Toronto Brain Bee since 2011. This year we welcomed over 100 students to the competition held at the Myhal Centre on the University of Toronto Campus. This year many of the competitors prepared for the event using our Bright Lights in Neuroscience Online Study Tool which was offered to everyone interested in the event.

Our congratulations to the top 4 competitors this year. It was a close competition with a tie for 3rd place:

  • First Place: Vanshika Chintakunta

  • Second Place: Michael Cheng

  • Third Place: Dawei He and Matthew Huynh

Find out more about the Toronto Brain Bee here.

registration is open …

If you are a student who is interested in the brain please plan to join us this summer for an inspired deep dive into neuroscience at Bright Lights in the Lab.

We offer 3 programs:

We are proud offer scholarships to qualified students who want to participate in our Researchers and Explorers program.

Hope you enjoy our 2018 video. It provides an opportunity to hear what other students like you think about Bright Lights in the Lab. If you have questions regarding our programs, you can reach us at

2018 animated films

This July we hosted two sessions of our Animators program and the talent students who attended created 8 amazing stop motion animated films about subjects that they thought we all need to think about.

This camp was hosted at University of Toronto Schools (UTS) and is made possible though our community partnership with the Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS).  The teaching team is lead by Ms. Anna Vlassova, who has assisted in the development of this program since it began in 2017 and this year we had an amazing team of teachers, animators and assistants to work with the campers.  

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bright lights in the lab 2018 ~ it's a wrap !

This year we were delighted to welcome 75 students to our summer programs at bright lights in the lab.  Thanks to the support of our donors and largely because of Firefly founder Heather Fraser we were also able to offer scholarship opportunities to 14 students.

From July 9 - 20 the Explorers (Grade 7, 8 and 9) and Researchers (Grade 10, 11 and 12) were eager to work with our teachers and researchers to develop their lab skills and conduct their own research.  We know that parents and camp supporters were very impressed with their work when they attended the Open House on our final day.

During this time we also welcomed 2 groups of Animators (Grade 5 and 6) who in 5 short days create and produced amazing stop motion animated films that will teach us all something we need to think about when it comes to healthy brains.  This great work is made possible by our teachers and our community partners at the Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS).  The animators make every day inspiring and fun.  We will be posting the films as soon!

This year our teaching team included 18 dedicated individuals who are teachers, researchers, scientists, artists and animators.  We are grateful to them all and would like to offer special thanks to María Niño-Soto from University of Toronto Schools, our Camp Director in 2018.

Please check out some photos in our gallery below, or see all the daily action

on our Facebook page - Firefly Stay Bright


please click to scroll through photos

march break 2018 ~ bright lights animators


In March we launched our first spring break camp and welcomed 12 students from across the GTA to work with our team of teachers and animators.

We can't wait for you to see their films and find out what they think we need to know about our brains so we can all Stay Bright  !

We will offer two sessions of this enriched camp experience this summer:

  • July 9 - 13
  • July 16 - 20


20th annual toronto brain bee

Firefly has been the sponsor of the annual Toronto Brain Bee since 2011.  This year the competition took place Thursday April 12th., at the University of Toronto.  With over 120 students from across the GTA competing it was an exciting day.  After 3 rounds of competition the top competitors were:  Surya Pandiaraju, Upper Canada College (1st), Michael Tang, University of Toronto Schools (2nd) and Yashan Chelliahpillai, Glen Forrest Secondary School (3rd).  Natasha Reyes from Cardinal Carter Academy for the arts was the top scoring Novice competitor.  Temitope Lekuti received the Student Leadership Award.

junior bright lights camp

Due to great interest expressed by younger students we launched a new program at Bright Lights this summer.

Students from Grade 5 and 6 participated in a new camp where they learned how to read scientific papers and gather credible research information that they then used to create their own stop motion animated films.

This program is a partnership between Firefly, University of Toronto Schools and the Toronto Animated Image Society.  

We hope the films these students produced with help us spread the word to all young people about the importance of understanding and taking care of your brain... so it will last as long as your body does.

Students helping all of us... Stay Bright.


This camp is a partnership between 

Firefly Foundation

Toronto Animated Image Society & University of Toronto Schools

In 2017 funding for scholarships was provided by Firefly Foundation and the support of

AstraZeneca Canada