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Nevada County students participate in TechTest Jr. 2019

Submitted to The Union

On March 5-6, over 100 of the top fifth through eighth graders gathered to participate in the eighth annual TechTest Jr. math competition

There were 15 area schools represented, including Mount St. Mary’s Academy, Magnolia, Seven Hills, Lyman Gilmore, Forest Charter, Nevada City School of the arts, Union Hill, Yuba River Charter, Clear Creek, Chicago Park, Ready Springs, Grass Valley Charter, Alta Sierra, Arete and Cottage Hill. Students were competing for bragging rights and prizes including robots, quadcopters, snap circuits and other science, technology, engineering and math-related prizes.

TechTest Jr. is a math exam that tests critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Aside from acknowledging students for their skills, it’s intended to promote the development of more critical thinking activities in the county and to help prepare them for future exams of this type, such as the SAT and ACT.

It also helps students to prepare for the TechTest Merit Scholarship program in their senior year of high school, where they can compete for over $15,000 in college scholarships. For more information on the high school test, visit https://sesfoundation.org/

The fifth- and sixth-grade test was hosted by AJA Video Systems in Grass Valley. The seventh- and eighth-grade test was hosted by Telestream in Nevada City. Due to a growth in popularity of the event, a third site was added in order to accommodate the overflow of students participating.

Holding the event at Telestream, AJA Video Systems and the Tech Connection was intended to show the students the type of opportunities that lie ahead of them as a result of their proficiency in math and science.

Telestream and Robin Guerra, account manager for maintenance and support, were hosted the seventh and eighth grade students, providing tours of the facility and showing product demos. At AJA Video Systems, Stacey Wiederhold and Bob Hudelson played host, providing lunch, product demos, tours and discussions for the fifth and sixth grade students. Shavati Karki-Pearl from Autometrix the team from NC Tech Connection provided demos, including one on virtual and augmented reality.

Nevada County Tech Connection was added as a site this year, which is part of the Economic Resource Council and consists of a consortium of small tech companies, including GSS (Gyro-Stabilized Systems), Augmntr (Virtual and Augmented Reality), NCTV and Traitware.

TechTest Jr. is offered at no cost to participating students and is funded by donations and sponsorships by the Sierra Economics and Science Foundation and by local businesses. It was offered again this year as part of the county science, technology, engineering, arts and math expo and winners will be announced at the expo on April 6.

If any individuals or local businesses are interested in helping to support the 2020 TechTest Jr., contact Dave Pistone at dpistone@mtstmarys.org. Anyone interested in getting a copy of this year’s exam (with answers) and previous years’ tests can go to https://sesfoundation.org/techtest-jr and download the exams, or email Pistone to get them.

The event was sponsored by the Sierra Economics and Science Foundation and the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools office.

Source: Sierra Economics and Science Foundation

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