Academic Competitions

Student Enrichment Programs

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education sponsors several academic enrichment programs and student competitions throughout the year. 

Language Ambassadors Student Recognition Program

Language Ambassador recognition will be granted to students in TK/kinder, third, fifth and eighth grade who complete a number of activities throughout the year in a language other than English. The activities ask student to learn, interact and create. By engaging in these activities, students develop the skills and interest in language learning needed to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy at the conclusion of high school. By participating in the program, students build competency for local and global citizenship.

Contact Information

Barbara Huebner, Multilingual Achievement Coordinator
(831) 466-5807 | Email

Math Contest

The 2024 Math Contest will occur the morning of Saturday, May 4,  2024, and offer students in grades 5-8 the opportunity to participate in advanced and thought-provoking mathematics in a social and competitive atmosphere. Students will participate in both a Team Competition, and an Individual Competition, and medals will be awarded to individuals and teams in grades 5-8. 

Contact Information

Anney Fagan, Math Contest Coordinator
(831) 466-5821 | Email

Laurie Stewart, Math Contest Administrative Assistant
(831) 466-5802

Mock Trial

Mock Trial Competition takes high school students to the heart of the justice system. Students acquire critical thinking skills and an in-depth understanding of our judicial process as they study a hypothetical case, conduct legal research, and role play at the trial. Mock Trial is a partnership with the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Santa Cruz legal community which emphasizes the development of students’ analytical and critical thinking skills.

Contact Information

Sita Kaimal, Mock Trial Coordinator

(831) 466-5847 | Email

Poetry Out Loud County Competition

February 13, 2024, location: Bookshop Santa Cruz
Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide program, originally created by the National Endowment for the Arts, that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, culminating at the national finals in Washington D.C. Students compete for awards, scholarships, and prizes. County winners compete at the California Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Sacramento. One student will be selected to compete at the National FinalsCheck out for detailed information.

Contact Information

Audrey Sirota, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator
(831) 466-5827 | Email

Santa Cruz County STEAM EXPO

The Santa Cruz County STEAM Expo provides both competitive academic opportunity  and a non competitive showcase for students in grades K-12. Students design individual or team science projects and compete for awards, scholarships, and prizes. Top award winners represent Santa Cruz County at the California State Science Fair located at the California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA, and the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Contact Information

Heather Wygant, Science Coordinator
(831) 466-5727 | Email

Spelling Bee

January 25, 2025, location: UCSC Classroom Units 1 and 2
In partnership with Newspapers in Education/The Sentinel and UCSC, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education coordinates the annual Spelling Bee. Students in grades 4-6 and 7-9 compete locally. Winners from each grade level go to regional and state competitions.

Contact Information

Sita Kaimal, Academic Events Coordinator
(831) 466-5600 | Email

Laurie Stewart, Spelling Bee Administrative Assistant
(831) 466-5802 | Email

Student Authors’ Fair

May 11, 2024, location: Del Mar Elementary School
Sponsored by the Santa Cruz Reading Association and the Santa Cruz COE, the Student Authors’ Fair encourages students to write and illustrate their own books. Students are recognized by the community during the Authors’ Fair. There is no judging or censorship at the Fair. Every book entered receives an Award Certificate. High quality and exciting displays of students’ writing are encouraged. Be creative!

Contact Information

Barbara Huebner, Multilingual Achievement Coordinator
(831) 466-5807 | Email

Save the Dates for our Spring Student Events!

The Educational Services team is getting ready for a lot of student events coming up in the spring! Check out some of the upcoming events ...
image of the santa cruz county office of education logo

Virtual Math Festival Engages Students

On Saturday morning, May 9, 65 students and 20 adult volunteers chose to start their day off with math!
standing student and adult

2016 Santa Cruz County Math Contest

359 students in grades 5-8 poured onto the Aptos High School campus to engage in Mathematics.