30th Annual Regional Science Olympiad promotes STEM education in OC

The Orange County Department of Education is presenting the 30th Annual Orange County Regional Science Olympiad on Saturday, Feb. 14 at University of California, Irvine.

This is the first year that all teams will be combined in one competition location, with 17 middle schools (Division B) and 28 high schools (Division C) registered to participate. The winning teams from the competition will move forward to compete in the State Science Olympiad in April.

The UCI event is free, and in fact the public is encouraged to come support their local teams at what has been billed as the largest science competition in the county. In all, 23 competitive events will challenge and inspire students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines such as biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, astronomy and geology.

Events are aligned with the 21st Century Competencies and Next Generation Science Standards that incorporate cognitive processes and strategies, information literacy, critical thinking, communication, team collaboration, problem-solving and creative innovation.

For information about the Orange County Regional Science Olympiad, and to learn how local schools can participate in future competitions, click here, or contact Dean Gilbert at 714-966-4291

Student Technology Showcase: What’s on your bathroom shelf? (video)

Consider this the ultimate makeup assignment.

A class at Imperial Middle School in the La Habra City School District was recently tasked with developing a brand new cosmetic, but that wasn’t the end of it.

After researching and creating their product, students developed a marketing and advertising campaign using a variety of technologies. Teacher Csilla Koppany explains it better than we can in the video above.

Each year, OCDE searches for the best curriculum-aligned technology projects in Orange County to be showcased at the OC Student Technology Showcase, which is part of the OC Computer Using Educators Technology Festival. Representative Orange County teams are also selected to participate at the annual CUE State Student Technology Showcase in Palm Springs in March.

For more information, click here.

OC Career Pathways Partnership will prepare students for the 21st-century workforce

OCPathwaysFINALWe already know that Orange County is a diverse and dynamic region with the human and economic potential to lead the nation in college and career readiness and success.

Well, a sizable grant from the California Career Pathways Trust is poised to advance that vision.

Last year, the California Department of Education awarded the Orange County Career Pathways Partnership a $15 million grant to create a countywide infrastructure to expand career pathways for students from kindergarten through college. Led by the Orange County Department of Education and Saddleback College, OCCPP represents the largest regional consortium in the state.

The goal of OCCPP is to make career pathway programs accessible to Orange County students from all academic and socio-economic levels. Students will participate in career exploration and on-the-job training that prepares them to earn certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and advanced degrees in three target sectors: health care/biotechnology; engineering/advanced manufacturing and design; and information communication technology/digital media.

Students will need to master subjects at the same level of rigor as those entering a traditional university system. The programs will also align career courses with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); California academic standards; and Career Technical Education Model Standards, linking the content to industry needs.

OCCPP will provide courses and learning experiences that produce high school graduates capable of securing high-skill, high-wage jobs.

Expect to hear more on this topic soon.