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Hillcrest Gets Gold at Science Olympiad

  • By David Barron

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Students in the pictures at top left and above are:  Alyssa Bao, Kenny Chang, Cole Kim, Vinson Hong, Jazmine Portinga, Timothy Klepzig, Derrick Wong, Celeste Nguyen, Alina Shahin, George Shahin, Julian Artiles, Jeff Wang, and Genevieve Tang.  (Bailey Huynh was missing in the picture.)
Hillcrest Elementary School won a gold medal and had the highest score they have earned in the last seven years in the Science Olympiad competition that took place at Occidental College on February 25, 2012. 
Hillcrest coach, Ms. Teresa Chow, typically trains the students for about 10 weeks and assigns them to various events according to their interests and abilities.   
Student Bailey Huynh said, “The process was nerve racking and it made me feel unprepared; but when the events came, I thought it was easy and it was a fun experience. Julian Artiles explained, “It was fun and tricky at the same time. It was tricky because you don’t know what you are going to be asked and you have to study many subjects.   I hope I can be in Science Olympiad next year.”  
The Los Angeles County Science Olympiad is a regional competition held between teams of students representing elementary, middle, and high schools. 
There are 20 challenging events that are drawn from the various disciplines of biology, earth science, chemistry, and physics.  There is a balance between events requiring knowledge of science facts, concepts, processes, skills, and science applications. 
Each year, the Hillcrest participating team consists of 15 students from 4th to 6th grade.  Students are paired up to compete in at least one of the twenty events with some of them competing in 2 or 3 different events.  The twenty events are grouped mainly in three types of categories.  The first event category is physics.  Students have to make a model structure prior to the event date and bring the model in for competition. 
The second event category is about science facts and knowledge.  
Students are required to conduct a very broad area of research on a particular topic such as Deep Blue Sea or Bugs, and prepare to answer questions or identify objects related to that research topic.   

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