The Science Bowl is an official, regional qualifying tournament of the United States Department of Energy National Science Bowl. Students who have a high aptitude for science and math may participate in this prestigious competition but there will be a selection process for two teams of 5. Subjects covered in this highly regarded competition include biology, physics, earth science, chemistry, astronomy, and mathematics. The teams will compete in a round robin/double elimination tournament that will challenge their knowledge of science and math. The awards for the top teams have been scholarships and gift cards, materials and equipment for schools, and trips to various events. The winning team will have the opportunity to compete nationally in Washington D.C. in April. Van Nuys High School won the national title in 1996. We hope to recapture the title soon.
The Science Olympiad team competes each year and consistently qualifies for the state competition. Students on the Science Olympiad team spend months preparing to compete in topics ranging from astronomy and biology to physics and chemistry. The team practices and studies throughout the year, hoping to place within the top 10 teams at the Science Olympiad Regional Finals Competition held at Antelope Valley College. Over 30 schools compete in 20 different events include hands-on constructions, lab experiments and written tests. The subjects have varied from anatomy and robotics to wind power.
AP Biology Camp
Students currently enrolled in AP Biology will have the opportunity to participate in a camp at Pepperdine University Cottontail Ranch in Malibu on a weekend in the month of April. This program is designed to further prepare students for the AP Biology exam given in May. At the camp, there is an intensive review of the course material taught during the year and students will also be given mock exams to better grasp the difficult concepts in AP Biology. The cost of the camp costs $120.
AP Calculus/AP Statistics Camp
Each spring, the Van Nuys High School Mathematics Department offers an event for the Advanced Placement Calculus and Statistics.
Math Camp is actually a weekend long study session to help students with their final preparation and studies for the AP Exam. It is held one weekend in April. The exam itself is given the second week of May. Any student who is taking Calculus AB, Calculus BC, or AP Statistics is encouraged to attend. The cost is currently $120 per person. The cost includes food, lodging, materials and instruction. Students arrive at the camp Friday evening around 4:30 pm, get checked into a cabin, receive a brief orientation and have dinner. Then the study sessions begin. There are sessions: Friday evening, Saturday morning, afternoon and evening. Sunday morning students take a mock AP exam and get the results of that exam. Students have recreation times as well. Saturday afternoon students get to take a hike and Saturday night we all gather around a camp fire for Símores and skits. The event ends at 2:30pm Sunday. It's a fun and productive weekend.
Academic Decathlon (AcaDec)
Academic Decathlon is an annual high school academic competition organized by the non-profit United States Academic Decathlon Association. The competition consists of seven multiple choice tests, two performance events, and an essay. A unique aspect of Academic Decathlon is that it is designed to include students from all achievement levels. Teams generally consist of nine members, who are divided into three divisions based on grade point average: Honors (3.75–4.00 GPA), Scholastic (3.00–3.74 GPA), and Varsity (0.00–2.99 GPA). Each team member competes in all ten events against other students in his or her division, and team scores are calculated using the top two overall individual scores from each team in all three divisions. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded for individual events as well as for overall scores. The ten events require knowledge in many academic disciplines. Students must take seven multiple choice tests in art, economics, language and literature, math, music, science and social science. These topics, with the exception of math, are thematically linked each year. One of the multiple choice events, alternating between science or social science, is chosen for the Super Quiz. In addition to the seven objective events, there are three subjective events graded by judges: essay, interview and speech.
Honors Biology Tide Pool Trip
Every spring, students in Honors Biology class go on a field trip to the Tide Pools in San Pedro. Students explore the marine ecosystem and document both animal and plant species. Students see many hermit crabs, starfish and sea urchins. Those students that probe the rocky shores a little closer have found brittle stars, sea cucumbers, octopi and seldom times, the beautiful nudibranch. Fresh sea air, picnic lunch and lots of laughs round out an afternoon our science students treasure.
Van Nuys High School has two leadership groups: Associated Student Body (ASB) and Student Government. These student leadership groups organize a major event at least once a month. This ranges from debates, sports, club days, homecoming, multicultural days and dances.