TechTestJr Winners Posted

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TechTestJr2016winners

TechTest2016 Winners with their Quad-Copter and Programmable Robots.

On May 19th, the top 7th and 8th graders in the area gathered at Telestream in Nevada City, to participate in the fifth annual TechTest Jr, a math and science competition sponsored by the Sierra Economics and Science Foundation (SESF). A total of 41 students (26 girls and 15 boys) from 9 area schools, including Magnolia, Seven Hills, Mount St. Mary’s Academy, Lyman Gilmore, Forest Charter, Chicago Park, Weimar, and Grass Valley Charter, competed for STEM prizes that included quadcopters and a variety of programmable robots.

TechTest Jr is a math/science exam primarily for high performing 7th and 8th graders. It focuses on problem solving skills. The purpose is to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency at applying math, science knowledge and problem solving. It’s intended to promote the development of critical thinking activities in the County and to help prepare students for future exams of this type, such as the SAT and ACT and the TechTest Merit Scholarship program, also sponsored by SESF for graduating high school seniors seeking STEM careers.

This year, holding the event at Telestream, showed students the type of opportunities that lie ahead of them as a result of their proficiency in math and science. Telestream and Anna Greco, VP of Client Services Enterprise Products were fabulous hosts to the students, providing tours of their facility, showing product demos and even livestreaming the event and student interviews to their Facebook page.

The exam consisted of 33 challenging math and science problems. The students had almost two hours in which to complete the test. More details posted under the TechTestJr Navigation tab above.

TechTest2016 Survivors Breakfast

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TechTest marked its 10th anniversary at Tofanelli’s in Grass Valley where this year’s survivors were inducted.  TechTest (‘Where the Elite Compete’), is the merit scholarship examination taken by a select group of Nevada County high school seniors headed for careers in science and technology.  Tech Test is written and sponsored by the Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation, and is administered by Mrs. Barbara Ross, Nevada Joint Union High School District Scholarship Coordinator.

This year’s breakfast was well attended by ‘survivors’, parents, local educators including Dr. Louise Johnson (NJUHSD Superintendent), SESF board members, and contributors to the TT2016 merit scholarship fund.  Scholarships are awarded strictly on the basis of test scores.

This year’s stellar survivors have just committed to universities and colleges ranging from Stanford to Dartmouth, Reed, Butler, CAL, University of Nevada, Reno, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  The breakfast provides an opportunity for everyone to share their plans and reflect on their (4-hour) test experience – TT2016 was judged to be “a little harder” than previous editions, even though the top score was still in the mid-range.  Dr. George Rebane, the author of the test, challenges you to judge for yourself and check out past tests and their solutions at https://sesfoundation.org/techtest-2/.

Also highlighted at the event was SESF’s TechMentor program that supplies tutors and mentors to Nevada County schools.  These volunteers act as a teachers’ resource to work with students who have special remedial or advanced study’s needs.

The plans for TT2017 include increasing the scholarship fund by inviting local businesses, especially the high tech companies, to contribute and get more involved with young people heading for technical careers.  If you wish to participate in TechTest or TechMentor, please email Dr. Rebane at nctechmentor@gmail.com.

And for the younger crowd, TechTestJr2016 will be given to seventh and eighth graders from various county middle schools.  This exam intends to motivate the younger students to take STEM subjects in high school.  Also sponsored by SESF, it is now in its fifth year.  TechTestJr awards prizes for high scorers consisting of electronics and other technology related kits for assembly and study.

This year’s top three high school senior scorers are (in alphabetical order): Ryan Bernadett, Joe Fenner, Teddy Hill-Weld.

Congratulations to the newly inducted Survivor Club members and their proud parents. As a memorabilia of the event, each survivor parted with a Tech Test t-shirt worn with pride in their accomplishments. SESF ED Russ Steele invites Survivors, both current and past, to keep in touch through the SESF TechTest Survivors page.