13 February 2019


Sandy-based school to add grades kindergarten through 5


Sandy, Utah—Beehive Science and Technology Academy, the Sandy-based charter school for grades 6 through 12, will be able to add grades kindergarten through 5 to its offerings beginning with the 2020/2021 school year. 

     In addition to offering humanities, arts and history classes, Beehive’s curriculum places an emphasis on STEM (an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses and activities.

     Beehive Director Hanifi Oguz and board members Calvin Zulich (president), Sudha Kargi (treasurer), Tarik Guney, Rolland Lee and Chris McCandless appeared before the Utah State Charter School Board on Jan. 16 to formally request that the elementary school grades be added.  On Jan. 17, the Utah State Charter School Board unanimously approved Beehive’s application. 

     In order to accommodate the influx of new students, Beehive will add a satellite campus at a yet-to-be determined site to its current location at 830 E. 9400 S. in Sandy.  According to McCandless, the new location could be an existing facility or a new building.  He said Beehive’s board will begin researching possible new sites now that the request to expand has been approved.

     In his opening remarks to the Utah State Charter School Board, Zulich cited an article, “Utah Students Need STEM,” that appeared in Utah Business Magazine online on Dec. 10, 2018.  The article noted that today, there are nearly 5,000 open computing jobs in Utah—jobs with an average salary of over $81,000, nearly double the state’s average salary.  But, there are not enough qualified workers in Utah to fill many of these positions.   The article went on to state, “This workforce gap is the result of an educational infrastructure that hasn’t always kept pace with Utah’s—and the country’s—rapidly evolving workforce demand.”

     Zulich said, “Beehive Science and Technology Academy is uniquely positioned to broaden STEM education in the Sandy, Utah area.  This charter school already has a strong track record of providing STEM to students in grades 6 through 12 in this geographical area, and there is really no other school nearby that is equipped to also teach grades kindergarten through 5.”

     Beehive was named Charter School of the Year 2016 by the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools, and given Platinum STEM School Designation (the highest designation possible—and Beehive was the only school to receive this designation that year) by the Utah State Board of Education and the STEM Action Center for the 2015/2016 school year (incidentally, there are now over 120 public charter schools in Utah).  In October 2017, Beehive was named an Apple Distinguished School for 2017 through 2019.  Beehive is the first and only Utah school to receive this national honor.

13 February 2019


Sandy—Beehive Science and Technology Academy’s computer science teacher, Sumeyra Gul, has been given the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET) Outstanding Teacher Award.  Gul was given the award on March 5 at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo.  The award presentation was part of UCET’s annual conference.

     In addition to receiving a plaque, Gul was presented with a check for $500. 

     According to its website, “The Utah Coalition for Educational Technology is a 501(c)3 Utah not-for-profit, volunteer-service organization comprised of educators and others interested in promoting technology-enhanced learning and teaching for all.”

     Gul was one of six nominees for the Outstanding Teacher Award.

     Gul teaches Digital Literacy to 6th graders, Computer Science Discoveries to 7th graders and Digital Media to 9th graders.  She also teachers App Development as a middle school elective, and AP Computer Science Principles as a high school elective.  In addition to her everyday responsibilities as a teacher, Gul is heavily involved in extracurricular activities at Beehive, including CyberPatriot, the Girls Who Code Club and Beehive’s College Mentorship and Leadership Program.  Gul has been a teacher with Beehive since 2016.

12 February 2019


Salt Lake City—Beehive Science and Technology Academy students captured six awards at the Salt Lake Charter Schools Science and Engineering Fair that was held Feb. 8 at Salt Lake Community College’s Miller Campus.

     The fair included elementary school, junior high and senior high divisions.

     In the senior high division, Dua Azhar and Sanjana Kargi won first place in engineering, and Aiden Pasinsky won first place in biological science.  Arika Awan, Anastasia Varela and Zaya Harker won second place in biological science.  Zachary Maynard and Nihal Kariparduc won third place overall.

     In the junior division, Nichol Jacob won first place in engineering, and Timothy Holt won third place in social and behavior science.

     All of these Beehive students will be advancing to the University of Utah Science and Engineering Fair March 12 through 14 at Rice Eccles Stadium.  According to the website for event, “The University of Utah Science and Engineering Fair (formerly named SLVSEF) is an annual science and engineering competition for students in grades 5-12. Participation in science fair stimulates students’ interest in science and technology while simultaneously promoting the development of communication, decision making, evaluation of alternative solutions and critical thinking.”

     The University of Utah Science and Engineering Fair will include students from Salt Lake charter schools, as well as from Canyons, Granite, Murray, North Sanpete, Park City, Salt Lake and Tooele School Districts and the Salt Lake Catholic Diocese.

12 February 2019


Team advances to the state competition


Sandy—Beehive Science and Technology Academy’s MathCounts team has placed second in the chapter round and has advanced to the state competition.  Beehive will join Rowland Hall in going to the state competition, along with schools from other Utah chapters.  The chapter round competition was held Feb. 9 at the Waterford School.

     The state competition will be held in late March at a yet-to-be determined location.

     According to Beehive’s math teacher, Emre Gul, 109 students from 15 charter and private schools competed, and only the top two teams qualified to advance to the state round.  Beehive team members are Meah Phan, Ryan Kair, Igor Kouakou and Sylvie Stafford.  Incidentally, Phan placed fourth in the individual competition, and Kair placed fifth in the individual competition.

     The MathCounts competition is held in all 50 states.  It is a series of in-person contests, and is the only competition program of its kind.

     According to MathCounts’ website, “The MATHCOUNTS Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that reaches students in grades 6-8 in all U.S. states and territories with three extracurricular math programs. More than a quarter million students participate in our programs and use our resources each year.”

28 January 2019




Sandy—Beehive Science and Technology Academy students and STEM Coordinator/Department Chair Kerrie Upenieks were interviewed by local TV stations in advance of the Utah STEM and Charter School Expo.  The Utah STEM and Charter School Expo was held Jan. 26 at the Mountain America Center in Sandy.

     KSTU’s Big Budah broadcast live from Beehive Science and Technology Academy on Jan. 23 throughout the station’s morning newscast. Students who were featured during the broadcast included Landon Van Amerongen, Liberty Lee, Nicholas Jacob, Gretchen Harris, Ketura Murthy, Alex Dillier and Malachi Thackery.  The students’ on-air demonstrations included scanimation-kinegrams, FLL Robotics, a hydraulic arm, a scribbling robot, FTC Robotics and a giant bubble, among others.

     KUTV’s Holly Menino interviewed Ms. Upenieks and students Izzie Todd and Joseph Paveleka on Jan. 24 during the station’s morning broadcast.  Joseph made polymer worms and Izzie demonstrated how to re-ignite a flame using chemistry.  Ms. Upenieks provided specific details about the expo.

     In December, Ms. Upenieks was interviewed by KUED’s Mary Dickson for the public affairs segment, “Contact.”  The three-minute interview aired on KUED in January, prior to the expo.

17 January 2019

PHOTO 2019 01 15 19 12 06PHOTO 2019 01 15 19 12 08PHOTO 2019 01 15 19 11 59

Sandy City—Beehive Science and Technology Academy Director Hanifi Oguz, teacher Carrol Firmage and volunteer Tammy Van Amerongen were given Appreciation Awards at a dinner given by Sandy City on Jan. 15 at the Sandy City Council meeting.

     According to Sandy City, the annual awards are “For individuals who have shown distinction in service to members in our community.”  The nine categories are:  Outstanding Citizen Contribution, Long-Term Citizen Contribution, Outstanding Service Award, Special Recognition Award, Coach of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, Citizen of Merit and Open Category.  Applications for the award are submitted from the general public.  The awards are selected by Sandy City Council members and Sandy administration.

     Mr. Oguz won the Special Recognition Award.  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.”

     In addition to transforming Sandy’s Beehive Science and Technology Academy into a financially sound, nationally honored charter school, Mr. Oguz has played a key role in educating the public about the impact STEM can play in our everyday lives. Since 2013, he has organized and overseen the Utah STEM Expo, a showcase of projects created by students from across the state. The half-day expo has historically attracted thousands of visitors each year to the Mountain America Expo Center.

     Ms. Firmage won Teacher of the Year.  This award is given “For any teacher in a public or private school in the Sandy area.  We want to honor a teacher who uplifts and encourages students of all ages to go for their dreams and encourages their love to learn.”

     Since 1990, Ms. Firmage has held teaching positions at Salt Lake Community College, ITT Technical College, Utah Valley University and Beehive Science and Technology Academy.  At Beehive, she’s served as Humanities Department chair, and has taught history, government and English classes since 2010.  As former student, Veronica Martinez, wrote, “Ms. Firmage taught us vital life lessons: how to dissect language, how to show compassion, how to question ourselves and learn about our true values.”

     Ms. Van Amerongen won Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.  This award is given “For someone who serves in Sandy without expecting any kind of payment or recognition.  They simply love giving back to the community.”

     Ms. Van Amerongen has been volunteering at her sons’ schools since 1996.  For the past three years, she has devoted much of her time, resources and talents to Beehive Science and Technology Academy.  She has worked with Summit County Library to provide Beehive with a huge number of books.  Also, with help from her contractor husband, she has upgraded the charter school’s aging facility, including remodeling bathrooms in two buildings.  The couple even donated materials with a retail value of around $10,000.

16 January 2019

Utah STEM and Charter School Expo 2019

Date: January 26, 2019 

Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Venue: Mountain American Expo Center (formerly South Towne Expo Center)
            9575 S. State Street, Sandy.

 Free Public Event!

27 November 2018


Sandy—For the 14th consecutive year, Beehive Science and Technology Academy organized a Thanksgiving celebration meal on Nov. 20 for students, parents and staff that included traditional turkey and dressing along with foods from other cultures, including many vegetarian dishes. 

     According to Beehive Principal Hanifi Oguz, “Since many of our students come from outside of the United States, this meal introduces many families who may have never had a traditional Thanksgiving to this distinctly American holiday.”

     Beehive’s International Thanksgiving Dinner for Lunch was originally initiated by a parent, Judy Wald.  Now, Wald is on staff at Beehive as a parent/volunteer coordinator, and she still oversees the Thanksgiving event.

     Wald said, “Every year before the Thanksgiving school holiday, all families are invited to bring a favorite family dish to share, especially international favorites. Parents serve and eat with us along with our teachers and staff.  We make sure all are included, even if their family is not able to bring food. No one is left out and no one knows who did not bring food.  Any leftovers are set out again after school and students may eat again or take food home to their family.”

     She adds that this is one of Beehive’s most popular school activities, and it gives attendees the opportunity to taste food from other parts of the world.

27 November 2018


Salt Lake City—Sanjana Kargi, a junior at Beehive Science and Technology Academy, is one of 15 students from around the state to be named to the Utah State Board of Education’s newly created Student Advisory Council.  After being selected to be on the council, Kargi was elected as the council’s vice chair.

     According to the Utah State Board of Education (USBE), “The students will advise the USBE on issues relevant to high school students throughout the state.  They were selected following an application period this fall after the USBE approved a new policy establishing the council.”

     The council will meet at least every month to discuss how decisions made at the state level affect students.  The council is made up of high school juniors and seniors, and one student from each of the 15 USBE districts was selected.  Each student will be allowed to vote on issues addressed by the council.

     In addition to working toward graduating from Beehive, Kargi is a concurrent enrollment student at Salt Lake Community College.  She is also Beehive’s current National Honor Society president and vice president of the school’s Technology Student Association. Earlier this year, she was a Regional Science Fair winner.  In the summer of 2018, she completed an internship with Zions Bank.

     For the past two years, she has been a CyberPatriot competitor.  CyberPatriot is a program of the Air Force Association.  According to the association, the CyberPatriot program is designed “to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future.”

     In the spring of 2018, she was awarded a Congressional Silver Medal.  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. Young people may register when they turn 13 1/2 years old and must complete their activities before their 24th birthday. Participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

07 November 2018
mathmatters logo

HERE ARE THE RESULTS OF THE CONTEST! Congratulations to all participants!

25 October 2018





Sandy—Beehive Science & Technology Academy students can now earn credits toward a college degree through the charter school’s Concurrent Enrollment program.  The program is offered in conjunction with Salt Lake Community College.

     According to Beehive’s Art Specialist Carelene Walloch, “The purpose of Concurrent Enrollment classes is to help students get their feet wet and raise the chance they will be successful when they are a college student.  Some kind of art class is required as a general education course in college, so by taking my class [Drawing 2010], they get one college class finished before they even graduate from high school.”

     In addition to being a full-time teacher at Beehive, Walloch is an adjunct teacher at Salt Lake Community College.  Beehive’s math teacher, Emre Gul, also has adjunct teacher status with Salt Lake Community College, and is currently teaching Math 1030, Quantitative Reasoning, as part of the Concurrent Enrollment program. 

     Walloch said, “A high school teacher can become an adjunct or Concurrent Enrollment teacher if they have the qualifications to teach at that level.  In reality, Concurrent Enrollment classes are college classes.  Therefore, they’re graded and credited the same as a college class.”

     Walloch added that there is an enrollment fee to sign up to be a student of Salt Lake Community College.  Any college or university that accepts Salt Lake Community College credits, including the University of Utah, will accept the classes taught by Walloch and Gul.

     In conjunction with the Concurrent Enrollment program, Salt Lake Community College will be holding a High School Workshop Day on Nov. 9, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  On this day, high school students are invited to visit Salt Lake Community College’s campus at 1575 S. State St. and participate in arts and media workshops led by the college’s faculty.  Twenty-one students from Beehive have signed up to participate in the workshop day.  Students do not need to be enrolled in a Concurrent Enrollment class to participate in the High School Workshop day.  To learn more, visit slcc.edu/arts-comm/workshop-day.aspx.

11 October 2018





Sandy—Beehive Science & Technology Academy has named Vickie Peterson as its new assistant principal.

     Beehive, located at 830 E. 9400 S. in Sandy, is a tuition-free public charter school for grades six through 12.  The school is recognized for its achievements in STEM (an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).  In fact, Beehive is the only Utah school to date to be named an Apple Distinguished School for 2017 through 2019.

    Peterson served as a high school principal in Murray from 2016 to 2017.  She was director of the Santaquin charter school, C.S. Lewis Academy, from 2011 to 2015.  At the time, C.S. Lewis had about 450 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.  She also served as assistant director of the charter school, Liberty Academy in Salem, Utah, from 2010 to 2011.  Liberty Academy serves grades kindergarten through ninth grade.  She was also a SIS (an acronym for student information system) specialist/board secretary/board member for the American Leadership Academy in the Nebo School District from 2005 to 2010.  SIS programs are created to track specific student information and report it to the state.  The SIS program was created and managed by the Utah State Board of Education.

     Peterson graduated with a degree in business administration in 2010 and a master’s in educational leadership in 2015 from Ashford University.

22 June 2018

The Utah Association of Public Charter Schools presented Beehive Science & Technology Academy’s Sumeyye Guney with its Innovation Award.  The presentation was made on June 13 during the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools 12th annual Circle of Excellence awards dinner at the Davis Conference Center.

08 May 2018

KSTU’s feature reporter and former sportscaster, Joe Wren, will be the commencement speaker for the Beehive Science & Technology Academy graduating class of 2018.  Wren will address the 21 graduating seniors on May 31 at 7 p.m. at ceremonies to be held at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus located at 9750 S. 300 W., Building MFEC, room 101.

27 April 2018

Principal Hanifi Oguz and student, Eldar Muhic, to be honored May 17 at awards gala

Beehive Science & Technology Academy has won two Best of State awards in the education category.  Beehive won in the teacher training category, and Beehive’s Eldar Muhic won in the student K-12 category.

25 April 2018

Beehive Science & Technology Academy, the Sandy-based charter school for grades 6 through 12, will be holding a talent and art show with a hot dog barbecue and raffle on Friday, May 4 at the old Spoons ‘n Spice store at 788 E. 9400 S. Suite 32 in Sandy (Beehive is located in the same shopping center at 830 E. 9400 S.).

10 April 2018

Principal Hanifi Oguz and student, Eldar Muhic, to be honored May 17 at awards gala

Sandy, Utah—Beehive Science & Technology Academy has won two Best of State awards in the education category.  Beehive won in the teacher training category, and Beehive’s Eldar Muhic won in the student K-12 category.

28 March 2018


Five students from Beehive Science & Technology were given awards from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) on March 24 at the Instructure Canvas Headquarters in Salt Lake City.

28 March 2018


KSTU’s Big Budah broadcast live on the station’s “Good Day Utah” morning program from Beehive Science & Technology Academy on March 21.  Beehive students were interviewed by Big Budah while they demonstrated a variety of STEM-related projects.

Accreditations and Affiliations