By Irvine Indy Staff –
The science fairs of the past have given way to bigger, more robust competitions, the result of the emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). One example is the recent science olympiad, hosted by Irvine’s Jeffrey Trail Middle School.
The February 8 Jeffery Trail Science Olympiad Invitational was reported to be the nation’s largest middle school Science Olympiad tournament, according to the Irvine Unified School District.
More than 70 teams from 40 California schools convened at Portola High School in Irvine where some 1,000 students participated in the day-long tournament.
The competition consisted of six “testing blocks” and 23 different events. The testing blocks challenge students in different scientific disciplines such as earth science, space science, biology, chemistry, physics and engineering.
Students compete at various levels that begin with local and regional competitions. They may advance to state tournaments and eventually go on to represent their school in the national tournament.
Jeffrey Trail, Beacon Park, Rancho San Joaquin, Sierra Vista and Vista Verde schools entered teams. They are prepare for the Orange County Regional Science Olympiad on February 15 at UCI.
IUSD Board of Education President Betty Carroll and IUSD Board Member Lauren Brooks presented medals to those competing.