San Juan district schools excel in 'Science Olympiad'

Two schools with the San Juan Unified School district won the Norcal Finals for the Science Olympiad Saturday.

Mira Loma High School and Winston Churchill Middle School both took top honors in their divisions at the event, which was held at California State University, Stanislaus.

The Mira Loma team was coached by teachers Scott Martinez and Mark Porter, while the Winston Churchill squad was guided by teachers Jeff Jungk, Jeff Darrow, Theresa Hollenbeck, Dena Kauer and Drew Kirlan.

The two teams will move on to the Science Olympiad National Tournament, which will be held May 16-17 at the University of Central Florida in Orlando this year.

The Science Olympiad, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is one of the largest and oldest science competitions in the country. Middle and high schools form teams of 15, with students competing in 23 different events in physics, chemistry, earth space science, biology and engineering.

The school squads advance through competing in local, regional and state tournaments, with the top 120 teams invited to the national competition. Last year, Mira Loma High School was edged out by Palo Alto High School for the coveted invitation. However, this will be Winston Churchill’s fourth consecutive trip to the national Science Olympiad.