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Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

WVUSD Medals at State Science Olympiad

NEWS                                                                                        Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 17, 2012                                                                          Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

WVUSD Medals at State Science Olympiad

WALNUT, CA--Four WVUSD Schools – Walnut High, Diamond Bar High, South Pointe Middle School, and Suzanne Middle School, participated in the Southern California State Science Olympiad competition held at Canyon High School in Anaheim on April 14.

And they all brought home medals! Science Olympiad is one of the premiere science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous, standards-based challenges to nearly 6,200 teams in 50 states.

Walnut High medaled in 7 events, and came in 10th out of 27 teams, with the highest overall team score in the district.

“There were some trying moments, but we did better than we expected in both the regional and the state,” WHS Science Olympiad co-president Paul Sonner said.  “I’m really proud of our team,” he said. The team earned 1st Place awards in chemistry and helicopters. This event was the culmination of countless hours of study and preparation, in addition to the students’ academic work and other activities, he said. “We’ve been meeting every week since September with the goal of building the strongest team possible to represent our school,” Sonner said.

Dr. Din-Kow Sun, who founded the WHS team many years ago with his wife Dr. Margaret Chao, said, “This is the best performance in the state competition as I can recall.”

Diamond Bar High tied for 19th Place and medaled in in 5 events including 2nd Place Awards in chemistry and towers.

Our tower had a mass of only 7.9grams and held the maximum 15kg of sand. Unfortunately, our helicopter got caught in a light fixture through no fault of the students.  This meant we lost a chance to do better in that event, said advisor science teacher Angela Jensvold.

“The students had a great time and learned a lot, which is why we participate.  Overall it was a great day!” she said.

South Pointe Middle School continues to improve and show great promise in just their second year competing in Science Olympiad, said advisor Crystal Dira.

Peyrin Kao and Alex Xie took the 4th Place medal in the Compute This event.  Nicole Matsuda and Timothy Huang won the 5th Place medal in Bottle Rocket.  Nicole also took 3rd Place in Mission Possible with her partner, Bernard Chen. 

"I am truly amazed by the students and what they accomplish.  They are asked to know a lot of information in a short amount of time about a particular area in science.  I really like working and getting to know each of them because it gives me hope about the great things they will do some day," Dira said. 

"We had a lot of fun!" said 8th grade member Jennifer Wu.

"We enjoyed it so much that we want to come back as mentors," added Niraj Ganesh, also an 8th grade member. 

The Suzanne Middle School team had a solid performance, earning 15th Place and two students were very excited to have earned two medals, said advisor Brandy Hernandez.

“Even more exciting, Suzanne placed in the top ten in 6 of the 23 events, which is not an easy feat,” she said.

The highest scorers were Lena Trinh and Ayesha Ng for their excellent performance in the Dynamic Planet event.

“We’re so happy that after all this hard work we actually won a medal!” said 6th grader Lena Trinh.

“I feel that all of our hard work has really paid off,” 7th grader Ayesha Ng said.


Suzanne medalists Lena Trinh and Ayesha Ng. 

WHS team members Ted Zhu, Alan Chen, Paul Sonner, Brian Sonner, James Li, Alicia Wei, and Iris Zhang. (WHS State Science Olympiad)