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  • Emilia Ellegaard and Amy Wang, from Mesa Verde Middle School, prepare to launch their rubber-band-powered airplane; their goal was to have the airplane stay aloft as long as possible.
    Emilia Ellegaard and Amy Wang, from Mesa Verde Middle School, prepare to launch their rubber-band-powered airplane; their goal was to have the airplane stay aloft as long as possible.
    Credit: Bob Paz for Caltech
  • Students from Pacific Trails Middle School check their vehicle in the Battery Buggy event—which challenged teams to build a vehicle that uses electrical energy as its sole means of propulsion in order to quickly travel a specified distance and stop as clo
    Students from Pacific Trails Middle School check their vehicle in the Battery Buggy event—which challenged teams to build a vehicle that uses electrical energy as its sole means of propulsion in order to quickly travel a specified distance and stop as close as possible to the finish point. At left, Timothy Liu, a Caltech undergrad volunteer, examines their entry.
    Credit: Bob Paz for Caltech
  • Under the supervision of event supervisor Henry Zamora (right), Carin Dang and Michelle Lim, from Oak Ave Intermediate School, prepare to test their balsa wood tower. Their challenge was to build the lightest tower that can still hold up to 15 kg of sand.
    Under the supervision of event supervisor Henry Zamora (right), Carin Dang and Michelle Lim, from Oak Ave Intermediate School, prepare to test their balsa wood tower. Their challenge was to build the lightest tower that can still hold up to 15 kg of sand.
    Credit: Bob Paz for Caltech
04/16/2018 10:17:26

Caltech Hosts SoCal State Science Olympiad Tournament

More than 1,000 youngsters competed in April 7 event

Caltech hosted the Southern California State Science Olympiad Tournament on April 7, at which more than 1,000 K–12 students competed in science and engineering challenges.

Some 100 Caltech student and faculty volunteers helped run the event, which has served as one of the country's premier science competitions and has been fostering student interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields since the 1980s.

Jeffrey Trail Middle School (Irvine, California) won the middle-school division of the competition. Troy High School (Fullerton, California) won the upper-grade division. Both teams are invited to attend the 34th Annual Science Olympiad National Tournament hosted on May 18–19, 2018, by Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Miriam Sun, a Caltech sophomore biology major and member of the Science Olympiad planning team, says this was the third year Caltech hosted the Olympiad, which seems especially fitting considering the Institute's leadership position in STEM research: "Through this competition, we hope that Caltech can continue to help the next generation of scientists and engineers develop useful skills for the future."

Written by Jon Nalick