New Tech, Health Professions students win Forestry Challenge awards

New Tech High student Karim Sanane uses a clinometer to measure tree height.Health Professions students Emmy Zepeda (left) and Laura Schelosky describe characteristics of Coastal Redwood and Douglas-fir.The Health Professions team:
Back row (left to right): Emmy Zepeda, Isaac Lara, Jenny Young
Front row: Advisor Jen Bilka, See Thao, Laura Schelosky
The New Tech team:
Front row (left to right): Advisor Senna Davis, Karim Sanane, Bella Heidrich, Alex Davis, Georgie Davis, Advisor Christine Baker
Middle row: Louis Contreraz, Riley Ramos, David Candia, Francisco Torres
Back row: Michael Rafanan, Samuel Robb, Tyler Heidrich, Khaa-Lel Whitaker, Nicholas Johnson, Advisor Jerry Huang

Students from Sacramento New Technology and Health Professions high schools participated recently in the 2015 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge held in Boulder Creek.

A New Tech team placed third out of 21 teams competing. Health Professions placed first in the challenge’s “pacing contest.” For this event, contestants were challenged to pace a 66-foot distance without the use of any measuring device. Health Profession’s pacing was closest to accurate (only off by 1.25 inches).

All participants helped create content and signage for a self-guided tour under development at Soquel Demonstration State Forest. After spending a day at SDSF learning about its ecology, history and management, students developed portions of a script that will be integrated into an android-based application for smart phones.

Students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge.

“The CFC was a great learning experience with fun and exciting challenge for my students. They truly enjoyed it,” said Health Professions High School teacher Jen Bilka.

Laura Schelosky and Jennifer Young, both seniors at Health Professions, summed it up as follows:  “This was super awesome and we’re so glad we got to participate in our senior year.”

Added New Tech teacher Senna Davis: “CFC engages learners in high level thinking with real-world issues about one of California’s most valuable resources, the forest.”