May 30, 2007 | Back to: Local News

Local high schooler shines at scholarship exam

Science and math come naturally to Jonathan Hyland. Doing his homework is such a piece of cake for him, he finishes it in school, to devote more time to play golf.

The Nevada Union High School senior - who is supposed to join the mechanical engineering department at the California Polytechnic State University in September - recently became one of top students at the Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation TechTest 2007.

The TechTest was a four-hour science exam held at the Don Baggett Theatre on March 31. The winners of the top three positions will receive $3,000, $1,500 and $500 scholarships on June 6 at the Nevada Union High School Scholarship Night.

"I think the biggest challenge was thinking logically because in some of the problems, you needed to understand what was going on and the variables involved," Hyland said.

Hyland was able to finish the examination in less than two hours. Most of the questions were based on calculus and physics, Hyland said.

The test was organized by the Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation, a local non-profit that wants to promote science and math education among school students.

"We wanted to provide an incentive to students to choose a math and science future for themselves," said Mike McDaniel, a member of the board of directors of the Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation. "It's our belief that there is a substantial need for individuals with a technical background to help support the United States and our local community."

Twelve students took the test, McDaniel said. Out of them, one was a junior, McDaniel added.

Hyland, nevertheless, didn't prepare especially for the exam, Hyland said.

"I didn't remember about the test until about a week before," he said. "I had a lot of schoolwork, so I couldn't prepare as much as I would have liked to.

"The evening before the test, I took out all of my calculus notes, my physics notes and my chemistry notes and overviewed all the concepts that could be in the test," Hyland said.

McDaniel said he hoped students like Hyland would inspire seventh and eighth-graders to take the test in future.

For more information about the test and to make donations toward scholarships, visit the Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation Web site at or call Mike McDaniel at 478-0326.


To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

How would you score?

Here is a sampling of the test questions.

1. Finding a Maximum. For the given function find the maximum value of y.

xxy 142 2 +?=

2. Balancing a Chemical Equation. Balance the following chemical equation:

OHCOOHC 22262 +?+

3. Work Done By Friction. A friction force that changes as a function of distance is applied to car tires as the car skids. What is the total work done by the friction force between x = 2m and x = 10m?

NxFf 10025.1 2 +=

4. Differential Equation. Solve the differential equation that is used to describe an adiabatic change of state of air for pressure p, volume v and constant, c. Show your

answer giving p as a function of v.

0)()( =+ dpcvdvp


Stories you may be interested in

The Union Updated Jun 4, 2007 01:19AM Published May 30, 2007 03:00AM Copyright 2007 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.