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OC Science is a student-run, non-profit organization working to inspire and spread interest in science and engineering among youth in Orange County.

Events & Updates

Kevin Lee: Presentation and Q&A

January 11, 2015

By Soumya Ravichandra of OC Scholar

On Sunday, January 11, OC Science had their first Science Talk of the year. After a brief introduction about the goals and prospects of OC Science, they introduced guest speaker Kevin Lee. In addition to being a freshman at Harvard, Kevin was the 2nd place winner of the INTEL Science Talent Search Competition and won $75,000 for college scholarships. Eager to hear about Kevin’s experience and his passion for science, the room was filled with enthusiastic students anxious to learn about his journey to Harvard and beyond.

Kevin graduated from University High School in 2014. His zeal for science began in 6th grade when the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates fascinated him. He became an active and stellar member of his Science Olympiad team in middle school. Upon reaching high school, he found classes to be monotonous and yearned for a challenge. The news that a Michigan High School Basketball Star unexpectedly died after making the winning shot in his game caught his attention. It sparked his curiosity and he was inquisitive in finding out what could have caused this unfortunate tragedy. After researching on the Internet, Kevin found that due to overuse of the heart muscles or certain birth defects, the heart can get thicker, and can grow irregularly. As these do not show up in doctor results, they cannot be curbed at an early stage. Kevin found a diagram on the Internet that measured the electrical activity in the heart. Unfortunately, this diagram did not account for the motion of the heartbeat, and as a result was inaccurate. Kevin met with numerous UCI professors, and took a Differential Equation Class at UCI in addition to balancing his schoolwork. He changed this diagram into x,y, and z axis using linear components. Furthermore, he found vectors for recharging and found particular angles in which he could determine whether the heart was healthy or not. He created a mathematical model of the heart and submitted it to the local science fair. His model helps in the treatment of arrhythmia and other heart conditions.

After winning at the county and state fair, he went to Washington D.C. where he met the president and won second place for his outstanding achievements. He also went to London where he conducted further scientific research. Recently, Kevin won an exclusive trip to Italy where he worked on understanding bacteria in the gut.

Throughout the seminar, Kevin had an open-minded outlook on his life and his achievements. At Harvard, he finds his peers to be ambitious, and believes they constantly challenge him to do better. To the younger students in the audience, Kevin told them, “Life is exciting if you approach it the right way. Somewhere out there, there is something incredible waiting to be known.” In general, the event was a huge success. Everyone learned a lot from him; his determination, perseverance, and dedication. He was a great inspiration, and he made all the students want to work hard and win the INTEL Science Fair too!

STEAM in the Park Success

By Michelle Xu

Orange County Science and other Math for Service organizations joined together to host the first annual STEAM in the Park event on Aug. 27 at Bill Barber Park.

The STEAM in the Park event offered a variety of different STEAM activities to young students. OC Science contributed a total of 8 different activities for the event, ranging from balancing paper clowns to making chromatography bookmarks.

 

Michelle Xu, the OC Science Vice President of Education, and Elaine Chao, the OC Science Director of General Public Outreach Events, led and directed the eight events. In addition, each of the events was led by an event captain.

“My event is called ‘Exploring Cellular Respiration’,” said event captain Atharva Apte. “The students do some form of exercise for a minute. They then blow into a cup filled with indicator solution, decreasing the pH and turning the solution yellow. Whichever student has his/her cup turn yellow first wins. The harder a student exercises, the faster his/her cup will change color.”

 

Both new and old OC Science volunteers helped the event captains run their events.

“I like volunteering at OC Science because I really enjoy science,” says Mini Lava Lamps volunteer Chris Wang. “I think OC Science motivates other people to pursue science themselves.”

  

The young students were able to get a taste of what science is like through the different events. In each of the events, they were able to create something for them to take home, while learning about science at the same time.

“It was really cool,” says student Morgan Glabman after making her own lava lamp. “I really liked how the two solutions in the lava lamp separated, and I really enjoyed seeing how the bubbles came up.”

 

To learn more about Math for Service’s STEAM in the Park event in general, please visit: http://ocscholar.org

OCSEF KnowledgeShare

Recently, OC Science and OCSEF collaborated on a project called KnowledgeShare. Students of all grade levels agreed to make their science fair research open to the public for the benefit of all to see.

OC Science volunteers and board members worked with the students, acting as their mentors, guiding them through the 4 week project. Together, students and volunteers wrote interest articles about the person behind the science fair and worked extremely hard on creating a digitalized science fair board, complete with graphs, data tables and pictures. 

Below is an example of one the science fair boards written by Ankita Ahluwalia and compiled by Alina Trinh.

 

To see the rest of the amazing projects and boards, click here.

For the Love of STEM

The story of OC Science's beginnings was recently published in the September/October 2016 issue of Imagine, a national magazine by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth to provide bright teens with the information and inspiration they need to make the most of their precollege years and beyond.  Please click here to read the article. 


(This article is reprinted with permission from Imagine Magazine, www.cty.jhu.edu/imagine)

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