Officers for Silicon Valley Youth Innovation Association (SVYIA)


Hannah, Mernyk, Sophomore, University of California


Jacalin Christensen, Junior

Jacalin is interested in technology applications for community benefit. She plans to major in engineering after graduating from high school.

Royce Chung, Junior, LAHS.

  • First FRC Robotics: I have been part of Los Altos High School’s First FRC robotics team since ninth grade. I participate in designing and machining parts for the robot. I also train younger team members how to machine, so that they can become more involved.
  • Battlebots/Fighting Robots: In my spare time, I build fighting robots and compete with them. I have competed at six events over the course of three years, and have improved my robots each time. I placed third in the beetleweight category in my latest competition in Sonoma. By creating fighting robots, I have learned design, material properties, electronics and mechanics.
  • Model Airplanes: In my free time, I build ultra light weight model airplanes. Last year I competed in the Kibbie Dome Annual model airplane competition in Moscow, Idaho. I placed first and second in the pennyplane and ministick categories. I am going to attend the 2013 USA F1D Team Selection Contest so that I can have a chance to compete at the 2014 Model Airplane World Championships in Romania. Though these experiences, I have learned about aeronautics as well as the mathematics behind flight.
  • Music: I played the Saxophone from 4th to 9th grade. In addition, I have played the piano for over nine years. Just last year, I completed the ABRSM grade eight practical exams. Furthermore, I earned a merit scholarship at the Community School of Music and Arts for five years.
  • Community Service: I am an active participant in my school’s Key Club. We help complete community projects as well as volunteering at food banks, community events, and other various events. Most recently, I volunteered at the Al Julian Track & Field Meet, an event that helps promote a healthy and active life style as well as sportsmanship to younger kids. I also participated in the Community School of Music and Arts outreach program, by playing music at various retirement homes and seniors centers. Through these events, I have experienced the joys of helping others.
Cole Deisseroth, Sophomore, Gunn High

I enjoy creating a variety of games, software and applications using various platforms. I tend to sketch my ideas using authoring tools or platforms, then transform the concepts into non-proprietary code, ensur- ing entirely original work. This is an ongoing learning process. I will spend the summer of 2013 in an internship focused on further developing these skills through my own games and programs, under expert guidance.
To date I have created five (5) multiplayer “mods” (alterations) of Warcraft III, and am now transforming two (2) of these alterations into native code for eventual release. These games are “Poacher Poachers” and “Virtual DST (Downtown Streets Team)”, both designed to educate players about specific world problems highlighted by the Millennium Development Goals (Poaching and Eco-health and Homelessness). Through play, these games will allow the public to immerse in these real world challenges, therein better understand the complex interplay of ecological, environmental and ethical factors and even generate new solutions. I hope they will serve to bring minds together to examine and solve these world problems.
Here is an article on Cole's work:
Improving world picture for poverty, environment

Catherine Chen, Terman