Weekly roundup: Irvine student raises funds to help Science Olympiad teammates, schools celebrate the season of giving, and more

A senior from Woodbridge High School was named Hero of the Week by KNX News 97.1 FM.

IUSD student Anisha Bhatnagar
(Courtesy of Lara Bhatnaga)

In an interview with a producer for the 24-hour-news radio station, student Anisha Bhatnagar from the Irvine Unified School District spoke about her passion for making it more accessible and affordable for her classmates to compete in Science Olympiad.

Founded in 1984, Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 STEM education, increasing opportunity and diversity in science, creating a technologically-literate workforce, and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers.

“To succeed in an event, you often will have to buy different kits or different materials,” Anisha said. “We also need to spend money to go to invitationals, which are like practice competitions. But if we don’t have the funds to do so, that puts us at a disadvantage against teams that do.”

Intent on assisting her peers, the 17-year-old student created a curriculum-based summer camp for children ages 4 through 13. This initiative allowed her to help students who wanted to join but had concerns about covering registration expenses and fees associated with competitions.

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

10th Annual OC Pathways Showcase flyer
  • Local industry leaders, educational institutions and more will help promote college and career programs while recognizing innovative student projects at the 10th annual OC Pathways Showcase at Orange Coast College on Dec. 7.
  • Fountain Valley High School is the latest campus in the county to open a new WellSpace, which is tranquil and welcoming environment for students to rest and practice mindfulness strategies with support from trained school counselors.
  • All but two campuses in the Tustin Unified School District have received the green light to reopen in the wake of the fire that destroyed one of the city’s twin massive airship hangars.
  • Dana Hills High School is undergoing a modernization project as its 20-year-old portable classroom building is being demolished to make way for a new 14-classroom building.
  • The Fullerton Joint Union High School District observed upward trends in the 2022-23 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test scores while surpassing state and county averages.
Loara High School boys basketball team remembers their late coach
  • Voice of OC published a three-part series looking at how local school districts handled board members’ financial disclosures and video streaming accessibility of school board meetings.
  • The median age for teen suicide in Los Angeles County has dropped to 16, with trends indicating higher rates among Black and Asian youths compared to their white counterparts in California.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.