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April 27, 2010 > Science Olympiad new experience for Thornton students

Science Olympiad new experience for Thornton students

By Miriam G. Mazliach
Photos By courtesy of Sarayu Somasekhar

After the regional competition, known as the BARSO (Bay Area Regional Science Olympiad), was held in Pleasanton during March, three junior highs and one high school, all from the Fremont/Newark area, qualified to proceed to the State level for the Northern California Science Olympiad finals recently held on April 17 in Fresno.

In Division B (Junior High), the schools were: Thornton Jr. High, Hopkins Jr. High, and Challenger Ardenwood. In Division C (High School), Mission San Jose High was the participant.

Although none of the local school teams ended up placing in the top three award positions, all performed exceedingly well at this most difficult competition.

Except for Thornton Jr. High, the other schools from our area had previously participated in Science Olympiad. So, it was quite an amazing feat for the 15 student members of the Thornton team and their parents when they achieved seventh place in the State level event.

Parent Sanjay Kalra praised the team's head coach for her dedication. "Credit goes to Head Coach, Sarayu "Sara" Somasekhar, for organizing, motivating and coaching the team and also the parent coaches who spent a considerable amount of time teaching the kids for the 23 events." Kalra also stated, "Sadly, the school administration did not provide any support for this effort."

According to Coach Somasekhar the amount of work preparing the students became a full-time job. "Although, it was a lot of work, I have a feeling of elation in that the team pulled together, parents stepped up to help, and we did so well for our first time."

Students competed in 23 complex fields of science ranging from construction, lab and theory elements in areas such as Social Science, Anatomy, Inquiry and Nature of Science, Ecology, Earth and Space Science, Chemistry, Physics, Technology, and Engineering among them.

"Thornton won six medals for different science events (one silver and five bronze) at the State finals," added parent, Pratibha Raheja. "Between the Bay Area Regional Competition and the State Finals, all 15 kids won a medal or two in their respective events."

In Division B, Challenger Ardenwood just missed being included in the top three spots by finishing the competition in fourth place while Hopkins Junior High earned a close fifth.
For Divison C, Mission San Jose High achieved an eighth place finish.

Congratulations to all the schools, students, parents and coaches for their intensive efforts in the 2010 Science Olympiad. Start studying now for next year's event!

NorCal 2010 Science Olympiad Results:

Division B (Junior High):
1st Place - Arden Middle School - Sacramento
2nd Place - Winston Churchill Middle School - Carmichael
3rd Place - John Barrett Middle School - Carmichael

Division C (High School):
1st Place - Mira Loma High School - Sacramento
2nd Place - Franklin High School - Elk Grove
3rd Place - Palo Alto High School - Palo Alto

The national finals of the Science Olympiad tournament will take place at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on May 20-22.

Website for the Science Olympiad: http://soinc.org/

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