Mira Loma High School Parents



California Environment Award


California Environmental and Economic HonorsPress Release, 2004 

Arcade Creek Project

As part of the core science curriculum at Mira Loma High School for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, over 200 juniors and seniors per year participate in a comprehensive field study of Arcade Creek. This urban aquatic ecosystem provides riparian habitat and flood mitigation and serves as a working lab for the ongoing study involving Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Systems. Student-led teams work in six locations along the creek. Since inception, nearly 1,000 students have participated in the project - in addition to classroom study, all students contribute 40 hours each year to Arcade Creek.

Mira Loma is the only high school in Sacramento participating in the IB Diploma Program (one of approximately 60 schools statewide), a two-year comprehensive and rigorous pre-university curriculum intended for economically disadvantaged students. Successful IB candidates are typically granted advanced placement in the finest universities and colleges in the U.S. The Arcade Creek Project is tangible and a benefit to the community - and offers exceptional service learning. The curriculum definitely exceeds the California academic content standards according to the CDE.

For more information contact:
Cindy Suchanek
IB Environmental Systems Instructor
(916) 971-7415 Ext. 6656

Mira Loma Wins Governor's Environmental Award

Last night, Mira Loma received the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, the State's highest and most prestigious
environmental honor.  The school's Arcade Creek Project was one of only four projects in the State to be selected in the "Environmental Education" category, which recognizes "exemplary educational programs or curricula to raise children's awareness of, and involvement in, environmental issues".

The Arcade Creek Project is a comprehensive field study that is part of the core science curriculum for the IB program.  It includes juniors and
seniors in IB Biology, Environmental Systems, Physics and Chemistry.  Since its inception, nearly 1,000 students have participated in the project.  As the reviewers noted, "The Project is a tangible benefit to the community, and it offers exceptional service learning.  The curriculum definitely exceeds the California academic content standards."

Thanks to Congressman Doug Ose and County Water Resources Inspector Dave Tamayo, who provided letters in support of Mira Loma's nomination.  Congratulations to Mira Loma IB science students who work many hours to monitor and restore Arcade Creek.  And kudos to faculty leaders Cindy Suchanek and Dean Karagianes, whose vision and hard work makes this outstanding project possible.

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Amgen Award

Press Release Source: Amgen Inc.

2005 Recipients of Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence Announced
Thursday May 19, 4:15 pm ET

19 Outstanding Science Teachers and Their Schools Recognized in Communities Across U.S. and Puerto Rico

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 19, 2005--Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN - News), the world's largest biotechnology company, today announced the 19 science teachers who are this year's recipients of the 14th annual Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence. This award is designed to recognize and honor extraordinary science teachers in K-12 public and private schools in communities where Amgen operates. Those selected are teachers whose exemplary science teaching has had demonstrated results in student learning. The awards will be presented at dinner events in May and June. The 2005 winners are:


  • Dan Alcorn of Big Valley High School in Bieber, CA
  • Ronald Fenenga of Santa Ynez Union High School in Santa Ynez, CA
  • Luke Laurie of El Camino Junior High in Santa Maria, CA
  • Jacqueline B. Rojas of Patrick Henry Elementary School in Anaheim, CA
  • Cindy Suchanek of Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, CA


  • Bob Dorsett of Meeker High School in Meeker, CO
  • Mary Ann Varanka Martin of Estes Park High School in Estes Park, CO


  • Gregory French of Woodford County High School in Versailles, KY
  • Peggy Welch of West Jessamine High School in Nicholasville, KY


  • Michael Gyra of Barnstable High School in Hyannis, MA
  • Abby Shlomit Hoffman of Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, MA

Rhode Island

  • Tracy L. Bailey-Gates of North Smithfield Jr-Sr High School in North Smithfield, RI
  • Gennaro Ferraro of Burrillville High School in Harrisville, RI


  • Randall James of North Central High School in Spokane, WA
  • Mary Bennett Moore of Jason Lee Elementary School in Richland, WA

Puerto Rico

  • Aurea V. Rosario Bonilla of Esc. S.U. Ana Dalila Burgos Ortiz of Orocovis, PR
  • Rosa M. Batista Cancel of Esc. Manuel Fernandez Juncos of Mayaguez, PR
  • Zulma N. Torres Gonzalez of Esc. Catalina Morales of Moca, PR
  • Elliot Lopez Machado of Esc. de la Comunidad Juan Ponce de Leon of Florida, PR

Amgen established the teacher awards program to demonstrate the company's commitment to advancing science education. Since the program's inception in 1992, Amgen has awarded more than one million dollars to educators who have made exceptional science-teaching contributions and who have had a measurable impact on the lives of their students.

"Amgen is proud to honor these 19 distinguished teachers, who remind us that skilled educators play a critical role in inspiring the next generation of citizens and future scientists. We hope this recognition and grant support for the teachers and their schools will continue to advance innovative approaches to science education," said Jean Lim, Associate Director of Philanthropy at Amgen.

The 15 selected winners within the United States will receive the following benefits:

  • An unrestricted cash award of $5,000;
  • A restricted $5,000 cash grant to the recipient's school for the expansion or enhancement of a school science program, science resources, or the professional development of the school's science teachers;
  • Recognition at an awards banquet; and,
  • Ability to share best practices with other award winners and colleagues via a web-based forum.

In Puerto Rico, four teachers will be honored, each receiving an unrestricted cash award of $2,500 and a restricted $2,500 cash grant.

Nominations are solicited every fall and a panel of independent judges selects the winners based on the following criteria: creativity of teaching method; effectiveness in the classroom; motivational ability; instructional ability; and the plan for the use of grant money to improve science education resources in their schools.

For more information about this program, please visit http://www.amgen.com/citizenship/aaste.html.

About Amgen

Amgen is a global biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets important human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular biology.


2005 Science Olympiad Winner



2005 State Science Olympiad Results                                                                       


1st PLACE:
Arden Middle School
                     1640 Watt Avenue
                     Sacramento, CA 95864
                     Coach - Chris Watson

2nd PLACE: Winston Churchill Middle School
                     4900 Whitney Avenue
                     Carmichael, CA 95608
                     Coach - 
Joel Carson, Jon Leister

3rd PLACE: Barrett Middle School
                     4243 Barrett Road
                     Carmichael, CA 95608
                     Coach - 


1st PLACE:
Mira Loma High School
                     4000 Edison Avenue
                     Sacramento, CA 95821
                     Coach - Mark Porter

2nd PLACE: Rio Americano
                     4540 American River Drive
                     Sacramento, CA 95864
                     Coach -

3rd PLACE: Tokay High School
                     1111 Century Blvd.
                     Lodi, CA 95240
                     Coach -

2001 Junior Nobels

Science Honors for Whiz Kids
3 student brainiacs from Northern California win 'junior Nobels'

Dan Levy, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 13, 2001



Two Northern California students competing in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search were among the top three winners last night in the $1.25 million science contest sometimes called the "junior Nobels."

Nathaniel Craig, 18, of Sacramento's Mira Loma High School, placed second among 40 finalists and won a $75,000 scholarship for a project on the thermodynamics of glass-forming liquids.

Gabriel Carroll, 18, of Oakland Technical High School, took third place and a $50,000 scholarship for his work on predicting the number of holes in geometric representations of linear shapes.

The first-place winner was Mariangela Lisanti, 17, of Staples High School in Westport, Conn., who developed a new measurement apparatus that allows data acquisition at an unprecedented rate.

Lisanti, who won a $100,000 scholarship, said the components of her project cost $35.

A third Northern Californian, Hans Lee, 18, of the York School in Carmel, took eighth place and $20,000 for an engineering project that tests a torque control system to improve a car's handling.

The Intel awards, which used to be named after sponsor Westinghouse until the Santa Clara chip maker took over in 1998, have been recognizing outstanding scientific achievement by young people for over 60 years.

The winners were presented last night at a dinner at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Vice President Dick Cheney and Intel CEO Craig Barrett were in attendance.

"We applaud these young scientists -- our country's future leaders, thinkers and innovators," Barrett said. "Their grounding in science and math is crucial to making sense of today's technological world and making the best decisions for tomorrow."

Sacramento's Craig, who is a karate black belt as well as a physics prodigy,

said shortly after the awards were announced, "I'm waiting for my heart to start beating again.

"It's astonishing to have things end up the way they did," he said in a phone interview. "Nobody comes to Intel expecting to win."

Craig added that it was cool meeting Cheney -- and President George Bush, who gave the 40 Intel finalists a tour of the Oval Office on Thursday. But the bigger thrill came from meeting his science idols: Prof. Douglas Osheroff of Stanford, a 1996 Nobel laureate, and Prof. Frank Wilczek of MIT.

"Those guys are gods of applied physics!" Craig said.

Carroll, a math whiz who has been taking graduate-level courses at the University of California at Berkeley for the past three years to supplement his work at Oakland Tech, said he, too, came to Washington with no expectation of winning a top prize.

"I'm kind of surprised," he said. "I really didn't have a high opinion of my own project, but the judges seemed to think differently."

So how was he planning to celebrate?

"They've got some kind of party planned after this," Carroll said, referring to a private post-dinner bash at the posh Mayflower Hotel. "After that, I've got some homework to do."

2005 Moot Court Finalist


The winners of the 2005 GDS Competition are...

Moot Court
Christian Brothers High School – First Place
Bella Vista, San Juan Unified School District – Second Place

Franklin High School, Elk Grove Unified School District – Finalist
Mira Loma High School, San Juan Unified School District – Finalist

Mira Loma, Churchill science teams win

By Ramon Coronado -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Sunday, March 12, 2006
Story appeared in Metro section, Page B2

More than 600 students from 43 high school and middle school teams participated in the annual Sacramento Regional Science Olympiad on Saturday at California State University, Sacramento.
The daylong event included 46 competitions.

About 200 event coordinators and staff assisted with the competition involving aspects of science and technology.

Mira Loma took first place in the high school division and Winston Churchill was the first-place winner in the middle school division.

The winning teams will compete in the NorCal State Science Olympiad on April 1 at California State University, Stanislaus.

2006 State Olympiad winner

2006 State Olympiad Results                                                                                                                         


1st PLACE:
Arden Middle School
                     1640 Watt Avenue
                     Sacramento, CA 95864 
2nd PLACE: Elkhorn Middle School
                     10505 N. Davis Road
                     Stockton, CA 95209
3rd PLACE: Winston Churchill Middle School
                     4900 Whitney Avenue
                     Carmichael, CA 95608


1st PLACE:
Mira Loma High School
                     4000 Edison Avenue
                     Sacramento, CA 95821

2nd PLACE: Rio Americano
                     4540 American River Drive
                     Sacramento, CA 95864
3rd PLACE: Tokay High School
                     1111 Century Blvd.
                     Lodi, CA 95240

Click on the following links to view the Individual Event Results



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2006 Science and Engineering Fair winners



1st Place - Overall Senior:
Vinayak Ramesh
A Collaborative Framework for Intelligent Wireless Sensor Network and Security
Cameras in Order to Enhance Security Systems in Schools
Oak Ridge High School

2nd Place - Overall Senior:
Dipika Gopal
Characterization of a Monoclonal Antibody Against Marburg VLP's
Mira Loma High School

1st Place Team - Microbiology:
Ziyeda Sidikov, Anna Vasilchenko and Angelique Moore
Retarding the Growth Rate of Escherichia with Varying Wavelengths of Light
Center High School

2nd Place Team - Behavioral and Social Sciences:
Ashley Rubin, Crystal Charity and Nikita Singh
Mice and Their Reaction to Light
Center High School

3rd Place Team - Botany:
Adrian Ledesma and Fay Dennis
Differences in Flower Pigmentation in the Asteraceae Family
River City High School

1st Place - Behavioral & Social Science/Gerontology:
Ashveer Pal Singh
Bezti:  Perceptions About Cancer in a Punjabi Sikh Community
Mira Loma High School

2nd Place - Behavioral & Social Science/Gerontology:
Mindi J. Miller
The Affects of Cell-Phone Conversations on Reaction Time While Driving
Folsom High School

1st Place - Biochemistry/Chemistry:
Dipka Gopal
Characterization of a Monoclonal Antibody Against Marburg VLP's
Mira Loma High School

2nd Place - Biochemistry/Chemistry:
Albert Chu
Predicted Tyrosine Sulfation in Integrin B Subunits
Mira Loma High School

1st Place - Engineering:
Steve Wu
Optimizing Quadrupole Ion Trap Geometry By Computer Simulations
Mira Loma High School

2nd Place - Senior Engineering:
Vinayak Ramesh
A Collaborative Framework for Intelligent Wireless Sensor Network and Security Cameras in Order to Enhance Security Systems in Schools
Oak Ridge High School

3rd Place - Engineering:
Lisa Liu
The Best Way to Survive a Car Accident
Roseville High School

1st Place - Math & Computer Science:
Ryan Denlinger
A Maclaurin Approximation for Free-Fall Trajectories
Choices Charter School

2nd Place - Math & Computer Science:
Christine Chen
Making Doubly Even Magic Squares from a Quarter Pattern Expansion
Bella Vista High School

3rd Place - Math & Computer Science:
Emmanuel Villacampa
Achieving Optimal Data Compression
Mira Loma High School

1st Place - Medicine & Health:
Helen Liu
Extraction and Concentration of Elements from Momordica Charantia, and etc.
in Producing a Hypoglycemic Substance ("Plant Insulin") for Diabetes Mellitus Type I & II
Roseville High School

2nd Place - Medicine & Health:
Patricia Griffiths
Catecholamines and the B-2 Adrenergic Receptor Modulate Wound Healing
Mira Loma High School

3rd Place - Medicine & Health:
Stacey Stauber
Prosthetic Problems for Children With Acute Burns
Mira Loma High School

1st Place - Physics:
Ruslian Kurdyumov
Alloying Effects on Superconducting and Magnetic Properties of the La1-xCexSn3 System
Mira Loma High School

2nd Place - Physics:
Amanda Kelly
Art of M.I.
Christian Brothers High School

3rd Place - Physics:
Chio Chao
Specific Heat
Rio Linda Sr. High School

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MLH in the top 500 USA High Schools

Newsweek's 2007 High School Index and Washington Post's Jay Mathews rank Mira Loma High School as number 345 among the nation's almost 16,500 high schools.  Mira Loma High School continues to hold the top ranking for any high school in Sacramento County and all it's surrounding counties.  The California Department of Education listing of high school average SAT scores shows Mira Loma to be in the top 10 high schools for the area.

Such high rankings by two widely recognize measurements - and yet Mira Loma does not earn a 10 under the annual statewide school grading system.  Mira Loma's 2005 API score is only an 8.  How is this possible?  Unfortunately, many students do not take the STAR test, the main measurement included in the API,  seriously since it does not affect their chances to get into college.

SAT scores however, have a direct impact on a student's ability to get into the college of his/her choice. Thus, SATs reflect more accurately how well prepared students are for college.  Similarly, the rate at which students take AP or IB tests - the primary measurement in the Newsweek ranking -- also say a great deal about the academic rigor of a school.

In case you are not familiar with Washington Post's Jay Mathews High School Challenge Index you can read his "Class Struggle" column on http://www.washingtonpost.com  .  Some of his articles are shared via the MLH email list.  View some of the articles.

2007 High School Ranking

Washington Post’s Jay Mathews Challenge Index:


Sacramento Region schools in the list.

School Rank Index Equity and Excellence Subsidized Lunches
Mira Loma** 345 2.177 40 34
Rio Americano 718 1.576 28.8 8.4
Granite Bay 759 1.529 39.3 1.8
Kennedy 888 1.383 20.3 33.4
Rocklin 978 1.27 32 4
Galt Joint Union 1005 1.241 13.6 45
Elk Grove 1086 1.168 25.9 18.1
Franklin 1159 1.083 18.2 n/a
Folsom 1205 1.047 n/a 4.6

** International Baccalaureate (IB) exams and AP exams


Sacramento Magazine 2006 High School Ranking

May edition, http://www.sacmag.com/

Sorted by SAT score instead of API score.



API Rank

SAT Verbal

SAT Math

SAT Composite

Mira Loma












Bella Vista






Rio Americano






Oak Ridge












Granite Bay






CK MacClatchy






Golden Sierra


















El Camino Fundamental






Del Oro






Union Mine High












Del Campo






Rocklin High






El Dorado












Casa Robles Fundamental












San Juan






Elk Grove


















Mesa Verde
























Laguna Creek


















Rio Linda




































Hiram Johnson












Private Schools






Country Day












St. Francis












Christian Brothers







2005-2006 SAT Scores from the Dept. of Education for the counties surrounding Sacramento County Sorted by combined SAT scores.  Top 25 scores



School   Verbal Avg Math Avg Writing Avg Total
 Miramonte High  600 617 611 2439
 Campolindo High  598 615 605 2423
 Acalanes Union High   586 607 593 2379
 Mira Loma High  587 604 580 2351
 Acalanes High   577 609 580 2346
 Davis Joint Unified   580 607 571 2329
 Monte Vista High  566 591 569 2295
 Las Lomas High  563 584 571 2289
 San Ramon Valley High  560 584 567 2278
 Rio Americano High  561 578 565 2269
 Northgate High   553 585 559 2256
 Venture (Alternative)  588 560 544 2236
 Colfax High   553 558 548 2207
 Bella Vista High  543 557 539 2178
 El Dorado Union High   540 562 537 2176
 Granite Bay High   537 556 541 2175
 Benicia High   539 571 530 2170
 Black Oak Mine Unified  553 550 533 2169
 College Park High  535 557 537 2166
 Horizon Instructional Systems   559 519 541 2160
 California High   533 563 531 2158
 Folsom High   532 556 533 2154
 Placer High  535 550 526 2137
 North Tahoe High   524 543 532 2131
 Mcclatchy (C. K.) High  528 544 524 2120


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2006 History day In California State Finals, winner

Winners of History Day in California 2006 State Finals. http://www.nationalhistoryday.org

Mira Loma Senior Group Documentary Team - Kevin Liu (Captain), Jikyu Choi, Don Wei, & James Niebauer won state finals and will represent California at the 2006 National History Day Finals at the University of Maryland in mid June. The top 2 winners out of 34 teams in Senior Group Documentary category were chosen to represent California.

Mira Loma Senior Tara Siegel's paper captured two of the 15 state level special awards for historical research by a high school student.

Tara's paper documented acts of courage towards Japanese-Americans during WWII. The paper received special awards from the California Council for the Promotion of History and a special endowment for the promotion of research on the Japanese internment.

The Documentary Team went on the place 3rd in the National competition.http://www.nationalhistoryday.org/2006winnersbystate.htm#CA

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Mira Loma kids air insights on history

Students win national award for a video on '45 atomic bombings.

By Bill Lindelof -- Bee Staff Writer

Published 12:01 am PDT Thursday, August 24, 2006
Story appeared in Arden carmichael section, Page G1

The four Mira Loma High School teenagers were top students but knew little about President Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.

Truman's fateful decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 came during their grandparents' generation.

But with their interest piqued by a magazine story about the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Jikyu Choi, Kevin Liu, James Niebauer and Don Wei set about to produce a documentary on the subject.

A year later, that documentary has won third place in a national history contest.

"The reason their project was among the top in the nation was because of its very balanced, analytical perspective," said Myron Piper, Valley High School teacher and Sacramento County History Day coordinator.

The 10-minute video has some of same polish seen in a Ken Burns documentary:

• Professional-sounding narration by team captain Liu that spells out the various schools of thought behind dropping the bomb.

• Extensive use of video clips of Hiroshima and Truman from the online archive of the National Archives and Records Administration.

• Solid sound and video from interviews of academics in their cramped university offices.

• And a ton of research gathered from libraries, online and telephone interviews with experts on Hiroshima.

To win the bronze medal in the senior group documentary video category at the 2006 National History Day contest at the University of Maryland, College Park, the team had to compete against teams from every state.

The Mira Loma team's video, "Truman's Decision: A Stand in the Land of the Rising Sun," features interviews with three historians.

Also among those interviewed for the video was a 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner, Kai Bird, co-author of "American Prometheus," the biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project.

"On August 6, 1945, President Harry Truman gave the order to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima," Liu narrates. "The bomb was even more powerful than expected. An estimated 80,000 civilians in the city of Hiroshima were killed instantly."

The video goes on to ask what drove Truman's decision, a debate that has raged in the ensuing decades. Several perspectives on what led to the bombing are prevalent, the video states.

Those perspectives include traditional historians who view the use of the bomb as a necessity to save American lives and end the war and revisionist historians who maintain that Truman used the bomb as a tool to confront Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and bring an end to "an affront to the American goal of a democratic world," according to the video.

In addition, post-revisionist historians integrate traditional and revisionist thinking. Truman believed using the bomb would lessen American casualties and also that the Soviets were a concern, they say.

The Science Focus Program in Lincoln, Neb., received the top award for best senior entry for a group documentary for "Theodore Roosevelt: Conserving America's Future."

Second place went to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute for "Biocides: Rachel Carson's Spring to Action."

National History Day Inc., a nonprofit education program, sponsors the annual national history contest. Students present historical research in various ways, including documentaries, performances, exhibits and papers. The entries are judged by a panel of experts.

More than a half-million students nationwide participate.

Judges praised the Mira Loma video on evaluation sheets as "an outstanding work of history -- and technology," having a "balanced approach" and a "moving intro."

Locating sources was much like journalism, finding contacts that lead to interviews, Liu said. Once an initial expert was snagged, the effort took on a seriousness that persuaded other academicians to grant interviews.

Videographer Niebauer, 17, who is looking at filmmaking as a career, said the group racked up loads of interview tape that didn't fit into the video, which was limited to 10 minutes. He enjoyed gathering perspectives on the bombing.

"We were able to go to the professors who study this subject," he said. "It was interesting to see the conflicting views."

Wei, 18, one of the main researchers for the project, said, "People have looked at this issue for such a long time. Material was easy to find but hard to sift through."

Choi, 17, who worked his magic editing the video on the computer, said he would have liked more than 10 minutes for the video. "We had to cut down on some aspects of the question of why Truman dropped the bomb," he said.

The group was pleased with its third-place finish.

"I was really happy," said Liu, 17 and a senior this year. "My goal was to get to finals at state. We just kept going on and winning more."

About the writer:

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Top 10 Scientific Marvels

school teams finish among the very best in a national competition ranging from rocks to robots.

By Erika Chavez -- Bee Staff Writer


Published 12:01 am PDT Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Story appeared in Metro section, Page B1

Parent Tamra Ruxin, center, distributes flowers to Sacramento students returning Monday from the Science Olympiad in Bloomington, Ind. Family members greeted the Mira Loma High and Arden Middle School teams with cheers at Sacramento International Airport. Sacramento Bee/Jay Mather

See additional images


After finishing first at the state competition, the Science Olympiad teams from Arden Middle School and Mira Loma High School headed off to the national competition at Indiana University, Bloomington, with dreams of finishing in the top 10 for the first time.

Their dreams came true.

Arden Middle School placed fourth among 60 middle school teams from across the nation; Mira Loma's team finished sixth in the high school division.

On Monday afternoon, cheering family members welcomed the science scholars on their return to Sacramento International Airport.

As the bleary-eyed teens descended on the escalator to the baggage claim area, they were greeted by a gaggle of parents bearing roses, balloons and hugs.

"It was a total surprise," Arden team member Megan Alcalay said of the moment team members learned of their fourth-place finish. "It was so exciting, we all started crying."

The Arden team, which includes students who are high school freshmen, is a perennial powerhouse, winning the regional competition four of the past five years. But the students couldn't seem to crack the top 10 -- until now.

"We've worked hard for this for many years," said teacher Chris Watson, one of the team's coaches, who credits its success to good students, a cohesive coaching staff and passionate parental support. "It's nice to get to this level."

The Arden team wore team T-shirts on the plane, along with seven medals won for individual performance.

The large team trophy was carefully stashed to avoid any damage.

The events at the olympiad ran the gamut from rocks to aerodynamics to robots.

Arden student Zach Juhasz won an individual gold medal in the bridge-building competition. Made of balsa wood, the finished product weighed a mere 3.88 grams (about 0.14 ounces) but was able to support a whopping 14 kilograms (30.9 pounds).

What did Juhasz like the most about his Science Olympiad experience?

"I liked winning," he said with a grin.

Teammate Aaron Soskin recalled the moment when the team heard its name called as the fourth-place finisher.

"We had given up by then and thought we hadn't made the top 10," said Soskin, who accessorized the three jangling medals around his neck with a mop of wild curls. "It's a great feeling, especially going from 23rd place last year to fourth place this year. We worked our butts off, and it paid off."

Mira Loma's team was equally thrilled to go from a 19th-place finish in 2005 to sixth among high schools this year.

"We're all still floating," coach Cindy Suchanek said.

Fellow coach Mark Porter said the team's success was made possible by the students' ability to work together.

Mira Loma team members won six individual medals, and two of its gold-medal winners were offered scholarships to Indiana University.

Mira Loma team members Zach Stauber and Albert Chu will always remember the electric energy that filled the campus, and the joyous awards dinner featuring the students in their finest suits and gowns.

"It's just great to get together a team of people that's interested in science," Chu said.

Stauber is grateful for the chance to be involved in the Science Olympiad.

"I like having something to do that's fun," he said, "and we learn a lot while doing it."

About the writer:

  • The Bee's Erika Chavez can be reached at (916) 321-1016 or echavez@sacbee.com."We've worked hard for this for many years. It's nice to get to this level."Chris Watson a coach of the Arden team

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Mira Loma senior's computer simulation project puts him in running for finalist.

By Bill Lindelof - Bee Staff Writer

Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, January 25, 2007
Story appeared in ARDEN CARMICHAEL section, Page H3



If it's the day for big checks to be passed out for the Intel Science Talent Search, there's a good chance the scholarship Prize Patrol will be at Mira Loma High School.

Last year, two seniors were semifinalists, and in 2003, an- other Mira Loma student was a semifinalist.

Last week, representatives of Intel pulled the prizemobile into the parking lot of the high school at 4000 Edison Ave. to give senior Steven Wu an oversized check for $1,000.

Wu, who likes to play basketball and piano, won for his project: "Optimizing Quadrupole Ion Trap Geometry by Computer Simulations."

Got that?

Here's how Wu, 16, said his computer simulation project could be of use:

"This project could help laboratory techniques in a wide range of fields by improving the accuracy of the analytical instrument, the mass spectrometer."

Wu and Alexandra Maria Courtis, who attends Davis Senior High School, are the only two students in Northern California outside of the Bay Area to be named semifinalists in the annual contest.

This year's competition drew 1,705 contestants for what is known as the junior "Nobel Prize" of high school science competitions.

Wu and Courtis were among 300 high school seniors nationwide who received $1,000 scholarships for being named as semifinalists.

Each semifinalist's high school also will receive $1,000. When that was announced by an Intel representative, Wu's classmates clapped loudly.

On Wednesday, 40 finalists will be named. Finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March to compete for more than $500,000 in scholarships.

Wu is the son of Charles Wu, a software engineer, and Wynne Xie, who has worked in the field of food microbiology. The family lives in Folsom.

Wu's mother said her son has liked science ever since he could read. She gave him a phonics book when he was young, and in a couple weeks, he was reading on his own.

"I would bring him to the library every week," Xie said. "The library exposed him to every type of book, not just bedtime stories or fairy tales. For some reason, he loved science."

She remembered that when he was about 7 -- about the time kids are into superheroes -- young Wu was conversing about the periodic table of the chemical elements.

When Wu got to Mira Loma, he started to truly love chemistry and biology. He is also very good at math and physics, she said.

"When he came to Mira Loma, that is the first time I saw him happy to go to school," said Xie, who said her son attended private school first. "Before, he always said everything they taught him he already knew. He was bored."

Wu is a student in Mira Loma's International Baccalaureate program, a rigorous course of study. The IB program allows students to take math and science courses that are more advanced than what the average student would take in high school.

Principal Christopher Hoffman said that it is important for American schools to stress science and math.

"Around the world, they are stressing science," he said. "If we don't encourage kids like Steven, we are going to lose out to competitors from other places."

James Hill, who taught honors chemistry and IB biology to the teen, said Wu is truly gifted.

"He is also on the Science Bowl team," said Hill, the team's coach. "He is a pivotal member. Chemistry is his strong point, but he's strong on all the sciences, actually. He has a brilliant mind."

Classmate Anisha Deshane, 17, said Wu, who wants to become a research physician, likes to have fun with science.

"He takes life seriously," she said. "But he has a light side. He has math and science puns and jokes. You can hardly talk to him without bursting out laughing. He's pretty cool."

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Highest number of Buck scholarship recipients

Mira Loma High School holds the distinction of having the largest number of Buck Scholarship recipients of the high schools in the 6 county area from which the foundation accepts applications.  Additional information on the Frank Buck Scholarship Foundation: http://www.buckfoundation.org/

Mira Loma High School students have been the recipients of a Buck scholarship for the last 12 years.  For a total of 13 years of 4-year all expenses college scholarships.  Congratulations!

 Molly Bennett
 Erik Chen
 Kevin Liu
 Dipika Gopal
 Jonathon Spaulding   2005
 Justine Lai  2004
 Taylor Owings  2004
 Stan Markuze  2003
 Kathryn Taylor  2003
 Alexander Chan  2002
 David Yuan  2002
 Ricardo Perez-Gonzalez  2001
 Lynsie Ishimaru  2000
 Stephen George  1999
 Carl Takei  1998
Nandini Gandhi   1997
Shreya Shah  1996
Rahul Young  1993


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Past Accomplishments

As of 1999, Mira Loma graduates received prestigious and valuable scholarships.
They include:
The Frank H. Buck Scholarship (4 students in 5 years)
             Value up to: $250,000.00
Schwab Rosenhouse Scholarship
Bank of America Scholarship
Regents, Chancellor's and Alumni Scholarships to the University of California
President's Scholarships to various universities
Independent scholarships and grants to many universities
Appointments to U.S. Military Academies

24 National Merit Semi-finalists
25 National Merit Commended Students
23 of 23 Successful Diploma candidates
93% Pass rate on IB tests
31 Perfect scores of 7
In every testing area ML students have scored a 7
100% Success rate on Math tests
100% Success rate on English tests
100% Success rate in Spanish 16 -7's
100% Success rate in Art

40 Successful Diploma Candidates
174 Students registered for 427 tests
96% Pass rate on Internationally scored tests
98% Pass rate in English
29 Perfect scores of 7
10 7's in IB Biology
28 of 28 Successful in Math Studies
72 of 73 Passed History
14 of 14 Successful in Math Methods
15% 7's in Art

27 Successful Diploma Candidates 100%
163 Students registered for 380 tests
96% Pass rate
34 Perfect scores of 7 - at least 1 in almost every test area
8 of 19 7's in Art
34 of 34 Successful in Math Studies
63 of 63 Successful in English
33 of 34 Successful in History
40 of 42 Successful in Biology
51 of 54 Successful in Anthropology

1989 NCTE Writing Award
  - Superior Rating for Literary Arts Magazine - Prisms
  - 1st Place Award
1991 "Write Idea" Contest sponsored by The Sacramento Bee
  - 2nd Place
1991 NCTE Writing Award
 - Superior Rating for Literary Arts Magazine " Prisms
1992 Bill of Rights Essay Contest
 - 1st Place, Northern California Region
1993 "Write Idea" Contest sponsored by The Sacramento Bee
 - 1st Place
 - 3rd Place
 - Honorable Mention
1994 NCTE Writing Award
 - 1st Place
 - 1st Place - Yearbook - Recuerdos
   The Columbia Scholastic Press Association
1995 NCTE Writing Award
 - 1st Place
1997 Sacramento Bee Poetry Competition
 - Two award winners
1997 NCTE Writing Award
 - 1st Place
  Comstock Club
  "Outstanding Communicators"
  1 of 2 in the Sacramento area
1997 - 1st Place - Yearbook - Recuerdos
  The Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  - Sacramento Bee Writing Contest Winner
1998 NCTE Writing Award
  - 1st Place
1999 American Scholastic Press Association
   - 2nd Place

Since the inception of the International Baccalaureate program 97% of those testing passed the IB test.
In the last two years, 218 students in Chinese, German, French, Japanese and Spanish have either hosted
students from countries where those languages are spoken or traveled with teachers to those countries.
lira Loma's Pre-IB Program, giving 30 units for the condensed 3 years of instruction in 2 years time
has been approved by High School Council and is the only accelerated curriculum of this type in the
district.  This year, we have exchange students from France, Germany, England and Switzerland.

1992, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998 One Mira Loma student chosen out of 50 nationwide for M.I.T. Research

Science Institute
CSUS Computer Science competition last several years
  - 1st Place SJUSD
1995/96 American High School Mathematics Examination
  - 1st Place SJUSD
  - 2nd Place in Sacramento County
1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 California Mathematics League
  - 1st Place SJUSD
  - 2nd Place in Sacramento County
Mira Loma Mathletes monthly competition
  - 1st and 2nd Place last several years - Northern Section
1995/96 CTBS Mira Loma Mathematics highest percentile in SJUSD
SAT Math scores highest in SJUSD (603)
1996/1997 NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) competition
  - 1st Place
Consistently high number of top scores among math studies students year after year

1994 and 1995 1st Place Northern California Science Bowl competition
1994 3rd Place United States National Science Bowl competition
Green Science Club 28 years committed to the health of our environment
1993/95 Four Westinghouse Science competition semi-finalists*
  - The only school in the entire state to receive this honor
Seven 1994/95 National Merit Scholars
1994 and 1995 2nd Place Northern California Regional Science Olympiad
1994 1st Place California State Science Olympiad
1995 2nd Place California State Science Olympiad
1996 1st Place Northern California Regional Science Olympiad
1996 3rd Place California State Science Olympiad
1997 1st Place California Regional Science Olympiad
1997 1st Place California State Science Olympiad
1999 1st Place California Regional Science Olympiad

1998 History of Americas - 99% pass ratio on International exams including Four 7's (perfect score)
1999 History of Americas - 97% pass ratio on International exams including One 7 (perfect score)
1999 IB Anthropology - 94% pass ratio on International exams including two 7's (perfect score)
Six out of the last seven years, Mira Loma Moot Court placed in the top four teams in the Sacramento Regional area.

1992-96 Crocker Art Museum, "Them and Us" show
       Teapot Show, American River College
1993-97 Art Punks on the Boulevard, SJUSD Art Show
                 Mira Loma students showing 10-30 art works each year
Cal Arts
           Summer Arts Scholarship - 2 recipients
IB Art Exam - 18 students 100% pass
           Figure Art Show - Mesa Verde Art Gallery
       Faculty Art Show - Encina Art Gallery
1994-96 Watercolor Scholarship Awards
           Sacramento City Airport Show
1996    Mira Loma @ CSUS
           Student art show featuring Mira Loma gifted artists
1997    Illustrators Award
           Department of Agriculture
1998    Cal Arts - 2 visual Art scholars
              (Only 5 from the Sacramento area chosen)
           IB Art show at Phantom Gallery, 2nd Saturday
              22 students showing 10-20 art works each
           District Art Show participants
              Fine Art Center
              Mask Show
              Teapot Show
              3-D Figure Show
           Film Festival Student Award

1996 Las Plumas Marching Band Festival
             1st Place Parade Division B
             1st Place Field Division B
             1st Place Parade Drum Major
             2nd Place Field Drum Major
             1st Place Parade Percussion
             2nd Place Field Percussion
1996 Del Oro Marching Band Festival
             1st Place Parade Division
             2nd Place Field Division B
             2nd Place Parade Drum Major
1996 CSUS Marching Band Festival
             1st Place Field Division Red
             2nd Place Drum Major
1996 Vintage Marching Band Review
             1st Place Parade Drum Major
             2nd Place Field Division C
1996/1997 Clarinet Ensemble - Superior Rating
1997 Golden Empire Festival - Excellent Rating
       Los Plumas Band Review
             5th Parade Band
             4th Percussion Parade
             3rd Field Show Band
             1st Open Drum Major Parade
1997 Las Plumas Marching Band Festival
             1st Place Parade
             1st Place Field
             1st Place Drum Major
             1st Place Percussion Parade
1997 Del Oro Marching Band Festival
             2nd Place Field
             3rd Place Parade

1992 Sang at the WHITE HOUSE
1987-97 Chamber Singers - Superior ratings - solo/ensemble and
          mass choir festivals
1997 Chamber Singers - National Honor Choir 3 Participants

Mari Carson IB Theatre Arts Award
1998 Lincoln Festival
             1 Directing Bronze
             4 Acting Awards
1998 San Juan Theater Festival
             1 Scholarship for acting
             2 - 1st Place awards for directing
             3 - 1st Place awards for acting
             1 Writing award

1985-99 California State Fair Industrial & Technology
   Education Competition
           Most Creative/Outstanding
            1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mentions
1997 Marketing Academy awarded $1,000 from Business Journal -
1997 Marketing Academy - one of three schools in the country to pilot the
        National Retail Federation Retail Readiness Assessment

ATHLETIC  AWARDS                1995-1999
  Boys and girls soccer have won championships for three straight years.
  Volleyball qualified for playoffs this year.
  Coed tennis has been undefeated in league for three years and has won four league titles in last five years.
  Both boys and girls swimming have won championships for the past three years.
  Girls track captured the championship two years ago and finished 2nd the last two years.
  The softball team has finished 2nd or 3rd six years in a row.
  Boys basketball team has won championships three of the last five years.
  Girls basketball has one championship and has been to playoffs seven straight years.
  Boys golf has won the league three straight three straight years.
  Girls golf in first year has won the league.
  The number of participants has increased significantly in Cross Country.
  Boys and girls Water Polo ha been added as a sport with an outstanding turn out.

Mira Loma team makes science's sweet 16

By Edgar Sanchez - Bee Staff Writer

Last Updated 6:34 am PDT Monday, April 30, 2007
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B2

SACRAMENTO-After starting the day as one of 64 teams vying for top honors, students from Mira Loma High School on Sunday made it to the final 16 of the National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C., before being eliminated.

Only eight squads qualified for today's finals, said Walter Zeisl, a spokesman for the contest, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Participants are tested in their knowledge of physics, biology, astronomy and other subjects.

The team from Mira Loma, part of the San Juan Unified School District, won $1,000 for its school, Zeisl said.

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