TechTest2012, the sixth edition of SESF’s annual merit scholarship exam, was held on 14 April 2012 in the Nevada Union High School’s science lecture hall. As has become tradition, the exam’s solution key has been posted on the SESF website (here), and the upcoming annual ‘Survivor’s Breakfast’, with the obligatory ‘Where the Elite Compete’ T-shirts, honoring test takers and winners is scheduled for May. The test is given to high school seniors who are headed for STEM (q.v.) careers as recommended by their science and math teachers.
But the big news this year is SESF’s launch of TechTestJr (aka ‘son of TechTest’). TTjr was inaugurated at the request of some Nevada County middle school educators who observed that it was in the 8th grade that students make the decision to pursue a high school curriculum that qualifies them for undertaking STEM college majors. It is rare for students, who avoid the difficult science and math classes in high school, to then change their minds and enter a make-up program to enable them to pursue STEM majors. TTjr is designed to be another timely motivator during that critical decision juncture (more here).
TTjr2012 was given last week over a three day period in several Nevada County middle schools and the results are available here. A press release from the Sierra Economics and Science Foundation on the test reads –
SESF organized and sponsored a successful inaugural TechTestJr2012 exam for Nevada County 8th graders. Six Nevada County schools participated in the 1st annual TechTestJr fashioned after SESF's very successful Nevada County high school merit based scholarship exam called TechTest. 93 Nevada County students, primarily 8th graders, took the TechTestJr exam.
The 1 hour exam covered a wide range of math and science related questions.
The top score was earned by a student of Robert Sharp's at 7 Hills School who scored a whopping 97% on the exam. 4 of the top 5 scores were earned by 7 Hills students. Magnolia Intermediate School also had a very strong showing with one of the 4 runner-ups coming from Magnolia. The 4 runner-ups each scored 93% on the exam.
The top scoring student from each of the 6 school's will be recognized for their achievement. Grass Valley Charter School's (top score of 90%), Mt. St. Mary's Academy (top score of 87%), Clear Creek (top score of 83%) and Union Hill (top score of 76%) students also participated in the very difficult merit based exam.
The exam was proctored the week of April 16th in Nevada County. SESF expects to add additional Nevada County schools to next year's list of participants. If your school is interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goal of the TechTest series is to encourage continued education (and future vocations) in the technical fields of math and science.