Awards and Recognitions
Beehive Science and Technology Academy is strongly positioned as one of the area’s premier STEM schools. Over the years, Beehive has got many recognitions and awards of distinctions.
Some notable achievements and recognitions are below.
Apple Distinguished School
Among the most recent (and possibly the most prestigious) awards given to our school was in the form of recognition as an Apple Distinguished School for 2017–2019. Recently, Apple renewed Beehive’s Apple Distinguished School status for 2019-2022. Beehive is the first and only Utah school to receive this national recognition (as of March 2020). In order to receive this honor, we had to be invited by Apple to apply for the designation. According to Apple, Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. These schools showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment. (Beehive faculty and students use iPads and other Apple technology to enhance the learning process and to simplify administrative functions. Every Beehive student is loaned an iPad for the school year.)
AP Female Diversity National Award
In March 2019, Beehive earned the College Board’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for attaining female student representation in AP Computer Science Principles for 2018. Among the more than 18,000 secondary schools worldwide that offer AP courses, Beehive was one of only 685 that achieved this recognition.
US News Best School in Utah
In June 2019 and most recently, this year in 2021, our school was ranked as the number one high school in the Salt Lake metro area by U.S. News and World Report. This ranking was based on college readiness (based on the percentage of 12th graders who took and passed at least one AP or IB exam in high school); college curriculum breadth (based on the percentage of 12th graders who took and passed a wide variety of AP and IB courses); reading and math proficiency (based on state assessments); reading and math performance (the difference between how students performed on state assessments and what U.S. News predicted based on a school’s student body); underserved student performance; and graduation rate.
Best Schools in Utah by Niche
Also in August 2019, Beehive was ranked by Niche as the third Best Public High School in Utah for 2020. Niche is a website that provides information on schools, companies and neighborhoods.
Best of Utah
Beehive also won Best of State awards for Best Principal and Educational Institution in 2017. In 2018, Beehive won Best of State awards for Teacher Training and Student K-12 (Eldar Muhic). Beehive’s Parent Communication and Volunteer Coordinator Judy Wald won a Best of State award in the education category in the support personnel category in 2019. In 2020, Beehive’s teacher Kerrie Upenieks won the Best of State award in the education category in the teacher category.
Charter School of the Year-2016
Beehive was named Charter School of the Year 2016 by the Utah Association of Public Charters Schools (out of approximately 130 Utah charter schools)
Utah Living Color Honoree
In August 2019, Beehive and Principal Hanifi Oguz were recognized by Utah Business magazine with a first-ever Living Color Gala award. According to the magazine, the awards recognize “those who have made it their mission to attract and foster diversity initiatives here in the state of Utah.”
Sandy City Awards
In 2019, Beehive Principal/Director Hanifi Oguz was given a Special Recognition Award by Sandy City. According to Sandy City, this award is given “For an individual, company or organization providing a unique service in or for Sandy. Something truly special, outside of normal types of service.” Sandy City also awarded Beehive’s Carol Firmage Teacher of the Year and Beehive parent, Tammy Van Amerongen, Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. In 2020, Sandy City awarded Beehive’s Megan Theorine Teacher of the Year .
One example of our accomplishments in promoting STEM can be seen in our continuing success in robotics competitions. In fact, a team of Beehive students went to Houston for the FIRST (an acronym for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League Competition in April 2017. The competition required that students build and program LEGO robots designed to complete specific tasks. Beehive Robotics was one of two teams from Utah to go to Houston for this international event (47 Utah teams competed in an attempt to go to Houston). Beehive Robotics captured a third-place award in the robot game category.
In 2016, one of our teams tied for 20th in the world in the FIRST LEGO League Competition in St. Louis. The Beehive team was the only team from Utah at that competition, which included teams from every state and 40 countries—108 teams in all. The international event has been held since 1998.
Beehive’s success in FIRST LEGO League Competitions continued in 2018. Beehive’s Bionic Porcupines III represented Utah at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in Houston in April, and Beehive’s Plan Bee team represented the state at the FIRST LEGO League Razorback Invitational held in Fayetteville, Ark. in May 2018.
In the FIRST LEGO League Competition, Beehive’s Bionic Porcupines III took first place overall and won the Champions Award. The team also won first place in the robot game. This team moved on to represent Utah at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in Houston in April 2018.
Beehive’s Plan Bee team took third place overall and garnered an invitation to represent Utah at the FIRST LEGO League Razorback Invitational held in Fayetteville, Ark. in May 2018. Team Bee also won the Overall Project Award. The team’s top robot game score tied for third place.
In February 2019, a team that included three Beehive students advanced to the FIRST LEGO League World Festival Competition that was held in Houston April 17 through 20. In order to participate in the World Festival Competition, the Bionic Porcupines team had to move through a series of local competitions that culminated at the Utah First Lego League at Southern Utah University on Feb. 16. The Bionic Porcupines won the Champion’s Award and first place in the robot game during the event. This marked the second year in a row that the Bionic Porcupines have gone to the World Festival Competition.
Beehive’s student success can also be seen in the fact that many of our individual students have thrived. In 2016/2017, three of our students have been among Utah’s Sterling Scholar finalists. In 2018/2019, one student has been named a finalist. The Sterling Scholar program is sponsored by KSL and the Deseret News. According to the Sterling Scholar website, “A Sterling Scholar is a high school senior who is publicly recognized and awarded for the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship in the State of Utah.
In addition, during the past three years, Beehive students have earned four gold, five silver and five bronze medals and approximately 150 gold, silver and bronze certificates and medals for Congressional Awards. According to the website about the award, “The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. The program is open to all 14- to 23-year-olds. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.
Sanjana Kargi stands among our most recent list of high-achieving females. In April 2019 as a junior, she earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. Only around two-tenths of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2018, only 3,741 out of more than 1.9 million graduates who took the ACT earned a top composite score of 36.
In October 2019, two female students from Beehive captured top prizes in the national Broadcom MASTERS competition for their STEM projects. Beehive eighth grade students Sidor Clare and Kassie Holt created building materials that could one day be made on Mars. This means that astronauts would not be required to bring building materials with them to build on the red planet. Clare received one of the competition’s top prizes, the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation. Clare said their brick was so strong that the students had to use a concrete crusher to test it. Holt received a first place Technology Award for $3,500 and an iPad. The two Beehive students were selected from 2,348 applicants from 47 states.
Beehive student Boden is selected to the Hope Squad’s national counsel where several thousands of the schools offer peer support to their students.