Many of the top fifth through eighth graders in the area gathered March 23 at two local technology companies to participate in the sixth annual TechTest Jr. math and science competition, sponsored by the Sierra Economics and Science Foundation.
The fifth and sixth grade test was hosted by AJA Video Systems in Grass Valley and the seventh and eighth grade test was hosted by Telestream in Nevada City. This is the first year that the test was offered at the fifth-sixth grade level.
More than 60 students from nine area schools, including Magnolia, Seven Hills, Mount St. Mary’s Academy, Lyman Gilmore, Forest Charter, NCSOA, Union Hill, Alta Sierra and Cottage Hill competed for bragging rights and STEM prizes that included six quadcopters.
TechTest Jr. is a math/science exam primarily targeted at high-performing fifth through eighth graders and it focuses on problem solving skills. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their proficiency at applying math and science knowledge to solve problems. Aside from acknowledging their skills, it’s intended to promote the development of more critical thinking activities in the county and to help prepare students for future exams of this type, such as the SAT and ACT.
It also helps students to prepare for the TechTest Merit Scholarship program in their senior year of high school to compete for over $15,000 in college scholarships. For more information on the high school test, visit https://sesfoundation.org/.
Holding the event at Telestream and AJA Video Systems was intended to show the 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 hosts to the students, providing tours of their facility, showing product demos and even having Andrew Haley (Telestream engineer and former Lyman Gilmore student) livestream student interviews to their Facebook page.
At AJA Video Systems, Stacey Wiederhold (AJA human resources) and Eric Gysen (vice president of engineering) were also hosts, providing lunch, product demos, tours and discussions for the fifth and sixth grade students.
TechTest Jr. is offered at no cost to participating students and is funded by donations and sponsorships by the Sierra Economics and Science Foundation (SESF) and by local businesses. It was offered this year as part of the county STEAM Expo and winners were announced at the Expo on March 25.
If any individuals or local businesses are interested in helping to support the 2018 TechTest Jr., please contact Dave Pistone at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone interested in getting a copy of this year’s exam (with answers) and previous years’ tests can visit the SESF webpage at https://sesfoundation.org/techtest-jr/ and download the exams.
Written by David Pistone, SESF Board Member.