TechTestJr Winners Posted

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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.

TeshTest Jr 2015 Results Posted

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The winners and prizes are shown under the TechTestJr navigation tab above.

SESF is Supporting the ERC’s 2015 Annual Regional Economic Development Summit

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Winning the Jobs War: The Sierra Foothills Roadmap of success.”

The Keynote speaker will be Joel Kotkin, who wrote an article in Forbes calling out the top 15 communities for job creation. Attendees will learn why he chose these communities.


The Nevada County Economic Resource Council’s Annual Regional Economic Development Summit brings together CEOs, technology executives, community leaders, government officials, and business owners from across the Sierra Foothills region to explore this year’s topic: “Winning the Jobs War:  The Sierra Foothills Road map for Success”

Why?  Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup since 1988 and author of the book “The Coming Jobs War” said in a recent interview:  “Gallup has discovered that having a good job is now the great global dream; it’s the number one social value for everyone…a good job is more important than having a family, more compelling than democracy and freedom, religion, peace and so on.  Those are all very important but they are now subordinate to the almighty good job…Stimulating job growth is the new currency of all leaders because if you don’t deliver on it you will experience instability, brain drain, sometimes revolution – all of the worst outcomes of failed leadership.”

Like many other cities and counties across the U.S., in the Sierra Foothills region discussion among government officials, community leaders, media representatives, and businesses about economic development and job creation has become an increasingly important topic of conversation.

A number of small to medium sized communities across the U.S. are poised for success.  They represent “the major leagues”.  Our Summit Keynote Speaker Joel Kotkin recently published a feature story in Forbes Magazine highlighting the Top 15.  In his keynote presentation you will learn why he called out these communities.  Immediately after a panel of leaders representing some of the most notable success stories – Asheville, Austin, Boulder and Bend — will share steps taken by local business, civic and education leaders that are helping them “win the jobs war”.

ERC Phone: 530-274-8455

S.T.E.M Into Knowledge

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The Nevada County Board of Education is sponsoring a A Day Camp for 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Girls who are Interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The Camp will be held on Saturday the 28th of February 2015. Contact details are HERE:. STEM-camp-flyer


SESF strongly supports STEM education opportunities for all Nevada County students.

New Tutoring Navigation Tab

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I invite your attention to a new navigation tab above which introduces a new SESF sponsored program led by SESF Board Member David Pistone. Click on the Tutoring Tab for more information.

Knowing How to Code Leads to a Better Life

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Knowing how to program a computer is key to success: ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ society could be reality for school leavers unable to write code Those who know how to write code could enjoy a better life, expert said

  • Those who know how to write code could enjoy a better life, expert said
  • Young people without skill would languish in equivalent of the scullery
  • A new compulsory computing curriculum was introduced in September
  • Coding lessons for pupils as young as five to be rolled out in schools

Read more:

Welcome to TechTest Jr. 2014 E-mail

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If you are receiving this email, it is because you are registered for the 3rd annual TechTest Jr. Exam. The exam is scheduled for this Saturday, May 31st. The details are included below. Please respond and confirm your attendance.

Thank you for participating in this year’s TechTest Jr. competition and representing your school.

This year’s exam consists of 38 questions plus a tie-breaker question. The questions include math (Algebra and Geometry) and science topics typically covered in your middle school classes. All questions are multiple-choice. Participants will not be allowed to bring in any paper or pencils with them. Pencils and scratch paper will be provided. If additional paper or pencils are required, they will be provided. Calculators may be used, but if they have a memory, the memory must be completely erased prior to the test (the proctors will assist with this). Phones or any other electronic devices will not be allowed in the testing area. Students will have approximately two hours to complete the exam. Only participants will be allowed in the test area during the exam.

The exam is being held in the Science Lecture Hall at Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley. A map to the Nevada Union campus and to the Science Lecture Hall is attached. Please allow plenty of time to get to the Science Hall. The schedule is as follows:

10:00am: Arrival/check-in (You will receive your t-shirt when you check in)
10:30am: Introductions
10:45am: Exam begins
1:00pm: Exam ends
1:30pm-2:00pm: Awards Presentation (go to to view some of the prizes available)

John McDaniel, the Nevada Union Physics teacher and coordinator of the NU STEM Summer Science Camps, will be on site to provide tours of the NU science labs for any interested students.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.


Dave Pistone
Sierra Economics and Science Foundation

High School Seniors Compete for Merit Scholarships

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This Press Release was send to local media outlets in western Nevada County, including newspapers, radio stations and active news blogs: TechTest2014 Press Release  TechTest2014 test and answers are posted under the TechTest navigation tab above.




Hour of Code

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TechTest2013 Winners Posted

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The winners of the TechTest2013 Merit Scholarships are now posted under the Tech Test navigation tab.

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