Science Olympiad Committee (SOC)
Established in 2002, the AESA Science Olympiad Committee promotes engineering and sciences within middle school and high school students through mentoring and organization of an annual science olympiad. Each participating student receives a “Certificate of Participation.” Winners at the science fair receive certificates, monetary awards and obsidian medallions made in Armenia. The Science Olympiad also presents a teacher award and a school award each year.
The SOC was established in February 2002 with the ultimate goal to increase interest in sciences and engineering among young Armenian students, foster their knowledge beyond the confines of a classroom, and provide recognition of outstanding achievements by students and teachers.
The committee organizes an annual Science Olympiad competition among Armenian students from Armenian and public schools in the Los Angeles area. The olympiad provides interscholastic academic competition in the fields of Physical Sciences and Life Sciences for two grade levels, Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12). Students' projects are evaluated based on creativity, scientific approach, comprehension, and presentation. The Science Olympiad follows the California State Science Fair rules and regulations. The competition is judged by engineering professionals and scientists, many of whom hold advanced degrees in their fields. Some of the judges also serve at the Los Angeles County and California State science fairs. Participating students submit their projects and posters and are visited by a number of judges throughout the competition day. During the evaluation and interview process, the judges provide constructive feedback to all students for future improvements of their projects and presentations.
One of the purposes that the Science Olympiad is to prepare students for the county and state competitions as well as nurture their passion to engineering and sciences. Custom-made obsidian medallions from Armenia are given to winners of the Science Olympiad competition, in addition to $500, $250, $100, and $50 Awards to selected winners in each one of the two categories and two levels.
In 2003, a number of industry leaders and AESA members offered internship programs to students for the summer. Twenty students took advantage of these opportunities by attending the UCLA Radiation Oncology Department and Medtronics internships.
In 2005, the SOC launched a mentoring program. Students are matched with experts in the area of their interest. The mentors consult the students to better guide them with their projects throughout the preparation of their science projects. In December 6, 2008 the SOC held the fourth coaching day at Glendale Library from 1:30 to 6.30 pm
An annual School Appreciation Award consisting of $300 has been given since the 4th AESA Science Olympiad. The school will receive this amount through the purchase of scientific equipment for its science laboratories. As of 2012, an additional $300 personal financial award has been added. It is given to the teacher who receives the most points based on the following scoring criteria:
1 point for each submitted project (not the number of participating students)
4 points for 1st Place winner
3 points for 2nd Place winner
2 points for 3rd Place winner
1 point for Honorable mention
The monetary awards are supported by a special AESA fund, Science Olympiad Endowment fund. Visit the “Sponsors” tab for more details.