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OC Science is a student-run, non-profit organization working to inspire and spread interest in science and engineering among youth in Orange County.

Events & Updates

Science Fun Night: Science and Socializing Together

By Ellie Gibbs

“Science fun nights let me socialize and get out of the house,” 12-year-old, who is currently home schooled and prepared to start junior year in the fall, Collin Jun said. “My favorite science is chemistry because I like creating bonds and combining chemicals and I’m starting physics next semester.”

There is a wide variety of students with different levels of exposure to physics as displayed by the competitive physics jeopardy in one room where kids no older than 10-years-old answered questions like “What is Newton’s Third Law?” all the way to an activity room where students can build structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks that can sustain a “jello earthquake.”

“[The marshmallow and toothpick activity] is my favorite,” five-year-old Emmanuel said . “It’s my favorite because I’ve never done that before.”

A third room is filled with board games and worksheets for anyone from a more individual learner to a social team player.

“I’m running a worksheet booth,” Sage Hill School sophomore and OC Science volunteer Jacob Gibbs said. “The worksheet booth is where kids can calculate kinetic and potential energy so it’s more of a ‘do-it-yourself’ activity. The kids actually have fun solving problems they didn’t think they were able to do before.”

One student was even found walking around making puns about the “Paper Helicopter” activity and calling them “physics spinners.”

“Students are given a periodic table of OC Science to track how many activities they have done,” Northwood High School junior Joshua Sohn said. “If they complete an entire column, they get a little candy prize.”

Be sure to come out and bring friends to fill out your OC Science periodic table every month and check ocscience.org to find out when the next Science Fun Night will happen at Northwood Ardent Academy.

 

Top students compete in Junior Engineering Olympiad

 

By Michelle Xu

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A vehicle powered by a balloon and a self-sustaining tower made from marshmallows have one thing in common: they were built by middle school students.

Students in grades six through eight participated in the Junior Engineering Olympiad as part of the third annual Orange County Science and Engineering Week held at the Tustin Community Center at The Market Place on Sunday, April 23.

The event was hosted by Orange County Science, a student-run, non-profit organization. This engineering challenge consisted of six events, each led by an event captain. It took months of hard work to carefully prepare each event.

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“To create my event, I looked up some some similar Science Olympiad events to get inspired,” said Linh Huynh, the event captain of Mystery Architecture. “I met with the OC Science board multiple times to receive feedback on my event plan. I then modified my event based on the results of dry runs.”

Each student could choose two events of the six to participate in. Each event focused on a different field of science.

“My favorite event was Water Filtration,” said Renegan Chanp, a student participant of the Junior Engineering Olympiad. “It was fun to experiment with the different filters we used. I never knew you could build filters in so many interesting ways!”

Before the Junior Engineering Olympiad awards ceremony, OC Science hosted its Junior Division Science Bowl. In order to qualify for the Science Bowl, students had to participate in OC Science’s Problems of the Month, a set of challenging science problems released every month on the OC Science website. The top-scoring eight students were invited to participate in the Junior Division Science Bowl.

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“Science Bowl is an opportunity for everyone involved to learn about science,” said Jeff Guo, the Director of Problem Writing of OC Science. “With every question, someone learns something new, regardless if they got the question right or wrong. You really get to learn about every part of science while having fun and competing with others.”

The event concluded with the awards ceremony, where the top scorers in each event were rewarded with medals. The voices of excitement mixed with the sounds of medals clinking as participants walked out of the event center, eager to see what events the Junior Engineering Olympiad would offer next year.

To learn more about the Orange County Science and Engineering Week, visit the website https://ocseweek.wordpress.com/.

Math for Service hosts annual Open House at Sage Hill School

 

By Harrison Zhang

Hawaiian music on the ukulele and jazz music on the saxophone complements the laughing and bustling of the Irvine community visiting the various Math for Service (MFS) booths; the annual MFS Open House is back.

Over 75 student and parent volunteers were on site at Sage Hill High School’s courtyard on May 13.

“The best part of bringing everyone together is that it just shows you that we’re one overarching organization: Math for service,” Master of Ceremonies and University High School junior Neah Lekan said. “It’s good to see everybody cooperating towards a common goal. We see everyone coming together, synchronizing and fulfilling the mission statement, all in one.”

Students eagerly gathered at the different organization booths to sign up to be Math for Service volunteers. There was a total of eight organizations represented: OC Math Circle, OC Scholar, OC Coder, OC Science, OC Arts, All Girls Math Tournament, OC Engineer, OC Launch, and OC Hacker.

“My favorite part is when you talk to the kids and make real connections. Just getting to know them, is really rewarding,” Orange County Math Circle Co-President and University High School junior Michael Wu said. “Our goal today is to inspire the new generation to get into Math for Service.”

In addition to student volunteers, a group known as Friends of Math for Service consisting of parents of student volunteers were present at the event handling bake sale duties and the book drive.

“It’s fun and exciting [to volunteer] because I see all these kids working so hard, so I just want to do whatever I can to support them,” four-year parent volunteer Betty Yee said. “For some reason, I always get thrown into volunteering for the bake sale, but I enjoy helping whenever and wherever I can.”

MFS’ Open House also featured an indoor presentation of each organization, led by the Presidents, and a President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) ceremony for MFS volunteers in the past year. Fifty-four students were eligible for various awards ranging from gold to bronze; 23 bronze, six silver, and 25 gold.

To learn more about Math for Service events and volunteering opportunities, visit mathforservice.org.

OCSEW targets next generation

 

By Harrison Zhang

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The mixture of science and engineering with interaction and learning brought the next generation of academic pioneers across the community to the City of Tustin Community Center at The Market Place on Sunday, April 23.

During the Orange County Science and Engineering Week, Orange County Science hosted their third annual event featuring the Elementary Science Olympiad Invitational, Junior Engineering Olympiad, Science Bowl and STEAM Scavenger Hunt and Showcase.

“I'm very happy about the turnout because we had a lot of venue issues,” Orange County Science President and junior Sherry Xu said. “We couldn't start promoting it until two or three weeks ago. Just in the past week our registration doubled. It’s nice to see so many people interested on a relatively short notice.”

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Orange County Arts member and sophomore Nicholas Mao provided a half-hour lunch performance for the community that included a display of jazz music on the piano.

“Piano adds color to jazz music,” Mao said. “I can go on with jazz for a few hours straight because I just keep improvising.”

While most events were held at the community center, Orange County Math Circle (OCMC) held an official Rubik's Cube Competition in partnership with the World Cube Association at the Discovery Cube.

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“Originally, all events were supposed to be at the Discovery Cube, but there wasn’t enough space so the Rubik’s Cube event stayed and the rest were moved to Tustin,” OCMC co-president and sophomore Amy Zhong said. “The event went well in general because the kids are all amazing and talented.”

Other Math for Service Organizations hosted booths at the STEAM Scavenger Hunt and Showcase, including business-oriented Orange County Launch, the newest organization which started in December, held a business card and resume making event.

“Today is more about the audience we can reach here,” CEO and junior Lucy Liu said. “Most students here are young and not sure what they want to do yet, so giving them a taste of what business can do is our goal. It’s also good to gain publicity.”

Future events can be found at tinyurl.com/OCScienceMailingList and at ocscience.org.

“OC Science first began hosting the Orange County Science and Engineering Week in 2015 as a way to inspire the interest in science among the youth of Orange County,” Xu said. “This year, we hoped to inspire even more bright young minds to actively pursue science, technology, engineering and math.”

2017-2018 Math for Service Board Applications Now Open

Math for Service opened its annual board application on February 7, 2017. If you are interested in being a board member for OC Math Circle, OC Scholar, OC Coder, OC Science, OC Arts, OC Engineer, All Girls Math Tournament, or OC Launch please click here to access the application information. Students currently in grades 8 to 11 are encouraged to apply. Applications will be due March 1, 2017. Good luck!

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