Junior high students and staff from the Santa Barbara Unified School District are proudly celebrating their remarkable achievements at the Regional Science Olympiad. This year’s event, held in person for the first time since the pandemic began, took place on March 11th at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Students from Santa Barbara, La Cumbre, and Goleta Valley junior high schools competed against other junior high schools from Central and South Coast and Southern California, and their impressive performances earned a total of 44 individual Science Olympiad medals.
La Cumbre school emerged as the only school from the county to place in the Fast Facts competition, with an impressive 3rd place finish. Although the school missed out on a medal in the Roller Coaster event, they performed exceptionally well overall. Santa Barbara Junior High excelled in the engineering events, earning silver medals in Bridge, Flight, and Roller Coaster, with solid performances in their other two events, “Crime Busters” and “Write It, Do It.”
Goleta Valley Junior High’s two teams were particularly successful, earning medals in an impressive 18 events. The team won gold medals in Crave the Wave, Experimental Design, Rocks and Minerals, Sounds of Music, and Storm the Castle. They also secured five silver medals, including in Can’t Judge a Powder, Crime Busters, Disease Detectives, Meteorology, and Rocks and Minerals. Furthermore, the team won seven bronze medals in Anatomy and Physiology, Bio Process Lab, Bridge, Flight, Solar System, Code Busters, Disease Detectives, and Write It Do It.
Dr. Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified School District, praised the students’ dedication and hard work in STEM, saying, “The success these students had in the Regional Science Olympiad shows their hard work and dedication to STEM. As we prepare future engineers, scientists, and mathematicians, these events inspire and contribute to bringing real-life lessons that their teachers and coaches deliver daily.”
Ellen Barger, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction at the Santa Barbara County Education Office, played a crucial role in bringing the Science Olympiad back to the region. The Science Olympiad is a national STEM competition featuring 6,000 teams at 425 tournaments in all 50 states.
The Science Olympiad offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in various scientific fields, including biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and earth science. The competition is designed to foster teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, as well as a love for science and learning.
The event was significant this year because students were able to participate in person for the first time since the pandemic began. The pandemic has presented many challenges for students and educators over the past two years, but events like the Science Olympiad demonstrate the resilience and determination of students and teachers to continue learning and growing.
The success of Santa Barbara Unified’s junior high schools in this year’s Science Olympiad is a testament to their hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence in STEM. The district is proud of the achievements of its students and looks forward to continuing to support and encourage their love for science and learning.
The Science Olympiad competition is an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge and skills in various scientific fields, including biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and earth science. The competition is designed to encourage teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, as well as a passion for science and learning.
This year’s Science Olympiad was held in person for the first time since the pandemic began, providing students with the chance to interact with their peers and teachers in person. The pandemic has presented many obstacles to students and educators over the past two years, making it challenging for them to continue their learning and extracurricular activities.