Seventeen Schools Advance to Southern California Science Olympiad
Seventeen schools that competed in the Los Angeles Regional Science Olympiad at Occidental College - including Rosemead's Muscatel Middle School, coached by teacher Jun Lugue '98 - have advanced to match knowledge and skills at the 26th annual Southern California Science Olympiad on April 9.
About 2,000 students in 117 teams from 112 private and public elementary, middle, and high schools competed in the Los Angeles Regional Science Olympiad on the Occidental campus February 26. Eight high schools and nine middle schools with the top scores made the cut for the Southern California Science Olympiad at Anaheim's Canyon High School next month.
The schools are:
Arcadia High School, Arcadia
Diamond Bar High School, Diamond Bar
Los Altos High School, Hacienda Heights
Mark Keppel High School, Alhambra
North Hollywood High School, North Hollywood
Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates
Rosemead High School, Rosemead
San Marino High School, San Marino
Carmenita Middle School, Cerritos
Dana Middle School, Arcadia
Gidley School, El Monte
Hawthorne Middle School, Hawthorne
Hermosa Valley School, Hermosa Beach
Muscatel Middle School, Rosemead
Rancho Pico Junior High School, Stevenson Ranch
South Pointe Middle School, El Monte
Suzanne Middle School, Walnut
The Los Angeles-area teams will go head to head against teams from Orange County and San Diego at the all-day Southern California Science Olympiad. The tournament consists of 60 rigorous challenges that span astronomy, chemistry, and experimental design, among other subjects. The events included designing a musical instrument, catapult or protein-cell model; solving a crime using forensic tools; and analyzing satellite images created by remote-sensing instruments. Some challenges also entailed a written test.
Winners of the Southern California competition then battle other top teams at the 27th annual national Science Olympiad at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from May 18 to 21. Nearly 6,000 teams from 49 states compete annually in hopes of reaching the national level. Besides a trophy and bragging rights, winners also receive grants up to $2,000 for their school.
Muscatel Middle School will be a strong contender, having placed first in the Los Angeles regional competition since 2005. The team was the state Science Olympiad middle school champion in 2006, 2009 and 2010, and placed 6th in the national competition in 2009. Muscatel Middle was also the state runner-up in 2008.
"I'm truly proud as a coach, and Oxy prepared me well for a teaching career," said Lugue, who has coached Muscatel's team since 2002.
Phoebe Dea, Occidental's Fletcher Jones Professor of Chemistry and one of the Los Angeles tournament organizers, agreed.
"The College is a great place to learn science," she said. "Oxy students are highly successful in integrating research and education, as reflected in the number of student researchers, degrees awarded, and graduates moving on to advanced studies in the science disciplines."