Mira Loma

Sacramento, Calif.-based Mira Loma High School celebrates its first ever victory in the Science Olympiad National Tournament in Wisconsin May 21. The winning team included Indian Americans Adith Arun, Nikhil Gupta, Vijay Srinivasan, Pranav Kodali, Muthu Chidambaram and Nishita Jain. (Science Olympiad photo)

A team of 15, including six Indian American students, from Sacramento, Calif.-based Mira Loma High School won the school’s first ever Science Olympiad National Tournament last month.

The 32nd annual event was held May 20 and May 21 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Among the Mira Loma High team were sophomores Adith Arun and Nikhil Gupta; juniors Vijay Srinivasan, Pranav Kodali and Muthu Chidambaram; and senior Nishita Jain. Additionally, sophomore Sunil Shenoy and junior Ravina Sidhu were among the three Mira Loma alternates at the tournament.

Other team members of the Scott Martinez, Mark Porter and Rochelle Jacks-coached Mira Loma High School included Claire Burch, Sarah Gurev, Ellanor Treiterer, Shaina Zuber, Sidrah Siddiqui, David Yang, Evelyn Zhang, Helen Burch and Carson Flamm.

Throughout the two-day event, there were 23 events in biology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, epidemiology, meteorology, coding and engineering. The hour-long hands-on and lab events are led by experts from government agencies, top universities, industry and Science Olympiad state chapters, with many running simultaneously.

The Mira Loma team, which was pared down to 15 from a pool of nearly 100 students trying out, won medals in 12 of the events.

Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Daniel Wright Junior High won the middle school competition.

“These winning teams exemplify the best America has to offer in science, technology, engineering and math,” Science Olympiad president and co-founder Gerard Putz said in a statement. “We are proud of their achievements and know their schools and communities will welcome them home like champions.”

The annual national tournament brings together 120 middle school and high school teams who won state-level tournaments. Mira Loma won in the Northern California tournament and is believed to be the first team from the area to win the national tournament.

For claiming the top spot in the tournament each of the 15 team members received a $3,000 UW-Stout Chancellor’s Scholarship, with the potential of renewal for a second year for $1,500.

The Science Olympiad is a Chicago-area-based national nonprofit organization founded in 1984 and dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 STEM education, increasing student interest in science, creating a technologically literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers.

More than 225,000 students on 7,600 teams from all 50 states competed in 400 regional, state and national Science Olympiad tournaments last year.

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