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

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

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.

Important TechTest2016 Information

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TechTest2016 Dr. George Rebane’s TechTest2016 preparation seminars will be held on March 5th and March 26th in the NU Science Lecture Hall from 10AM to Noon.

The TechTest2016 will be held in the NU Science Lecture Hall on the 9th of April from 9AM to 1PM.

Student and Parent questions concerning TechTest2016 should be directed to Barbara Ross, phone number (530) 273-3351 x224 or by email at (  Please put TechTest2016 in the Subject Line.

TeshTest Jr 2015 Results Posted

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

TechTest2015 Survivors Breakfast

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Students and Parents waiting for the Survivors Breakfast to be served. Photo by Ellen Steele

George Rebane, SESF Director of Research, who writes the TechTest has some thoughts on the Survivors Breakfast HERE.

Below are some proud parent of Ryan Brott. Ryan who took the test as a Freshman and made the second highest score. Since he was not a Senior, Ryan was not eligible for a scholarship grant this year.  However, we expect him to be setting the bar every year until he is a Senior.


Ryan Brott with is parents. Photo by Ellen Steele

The 4th Annual TechTest Jr. Math/Science Competition

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SESF TechTestJr_4thAnn

Download the flyer here: TechTest Jr Flyer – 2015

Please share the flier with friends and family.

TechTest2015 Test Date Announced

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TechTest2015 will be held on Saturday 11 April 2015 at Nevada Union High School.  Contact Science teacher John McDaniel for details. John McDaniel <>

SESF Supports High School Fusion Energy Research Project

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Russ Steele and Sasha Cohen in NU Science Class Room

Russ Steele and Sasha Cohen in NU Science Class Room

In John McDaniel’s Nevada Union Science classroom, on 12 February 2015, SESF Executive Director Russell Steele presented a check to Sasha Cohen for $750.00, as approved by the SESF Board of Directors.  See the attached press release for more details. Sasha’s webpage can be found HERE.  Press Release SESF Grant to Sasha Cohen

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