Meet the team
Minnie Zhang is a high school senior and aspiring writer hailing from Virginia. Zhang has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards three times. She is a a two-time American Voices nominee and was one of four in the nation to receive the 2020 One Earth Award. Zhang is a proud graduate of the 2019 Kenyon Review Young Writers’ Summer Program and the 2020 Iowa Young Writers' Studio.
Zhang believes that the meaning of life lies in fulfilling one's potential. She is passionate about using her voice andgiving back to the community. In her free time, she loves playing with her puppy, Kiwi.
Alice Cai is a high school senior and a published author of the novel Crowned: Legend of the Three Bears. Cai has been nationally recognized multiple times by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, including a 2019 Best-in-Grade and a 2020 American Voice medal. Cai is passionate about both storytelling and research; her research on photonic crystals allowed her to qualify as an ISEF finalist in both 2019 and 2020.
Cai believes creativity and communication are essential to STEM fields, and STEM fields, in turn, contribute to fantastic storytelling. She is dedicated to bridging the intersection between the two.
Amy Wang is a high school sophomore from California. Wang has won four national gold medals and one silver in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition in the past two years and has been admitted into Adroit's summer mentorship program.
As a recipient of National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)'s national 2020 National Certificate of Distinction for Aspirations in Computing, Wang can be found working on robotics programs - her FTC team has won the Inspire award at regional championships, qualifying for Worlds twice. Wang is working as a remote research assistant for Stanford's Cohen lab and has published studies on gender perception in STEM through the Association for Psychological Science.
Siya Goel is a high school junior from Indiana and is passionate about biology and computer science research. She is an ISEF 2019 and 2020 finalist, a National Center for Woman & Information Technology (NCWIT)'s 2019 National Honorable Mention, a 2020 Silver Award Winner in the North American Insposcience Fair, and is an alumnus from the Summer Stem Institute Research Program. Along with this, she is part of the executive board of a research group in Michigan called MirCore, the president of HOSA and her school’s research club, is the co-director of outreach on her Worlds qualifying FRC team, and is a varsity debater on her nationally ranked debate team. Goel founded a virtual art therapy studio which helps reduce the loneliness and depression faced by dementia patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also helped establish WL Climate Strike and is currently leading a statewide campaign to achieve legislative change.
Serena Zhao is a Harvard student and long-time STEM enthusiast from New York. Zhao represented the United States at the 2019 International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) as a member of Team USA and was also Captain of her school’s Science Olympiad team. She attended the 2019 Research Science Institute (RSI) held at MIT and is an active researcher with years of experience; most recently, her research on water purification by activated carbon won her Third in Environmental Engineering at ISEF 2019. She has also represented New York in the U.S. SJWP Nationals.
Zhao is a strong advocate for science and public education, believing that the key to solving today’s environmental and health challenges lies in communication, awareness, and united action. In her spare time, she loves to cook and enjoy the outdoors.
Sathvik Nallamalli is from Olympia in the beautiful Washington State. He is a high school senior and has an extreme passion for interdisciplinary learning and research. He is an avid STEM researcher and developed award-winning biomedical devices for pulmonary illness detection as well as brain tumor detection. He has received International Grand Awards at Intel ISEF 2018 and 2019. In addition, he serves as the State President for Washington FBLA and leads over 5,000 members across the state. Outside, Sathvik enjoys watching basketball and loves to cook! Sathvik is passionate about Buzz Online's mission and a strong advocate for developing new platforms to encourage next generation's learning and pave the path for them. Sathvik is a mobile app developer and has nationally award-winning apps and develops apps for businesses as well. He loves his music and is a pretty big foodie :).
Blanka is one of the founders, organiser of the Global Ambassadors group via STEMPOOL at SynthEthics and host of the Drop the STEM podcast. Her passions encapsulate public outreach, foreign languages, visual and scientific communication. She is a university student and researcher in Microbiology. Her project was awarded First Prize at the Hungarian Innovation Youth Talent Contest, Bioeconomy Prize at EUCYS, 4th place at Intel ISEF 2019 and represented Hungary at SIYSS, attending the Nobel festivities. She believes that a lot of times, inactivity is not due to a lack of interest but information. Therefore, to her making the advancements of the STEM fields, the possibilities of synthetic biology known and understandable to others is paramount: turning walls into doors.
Erik is one of the founders of SynthEthics, student of biomedicine and biomedical engineering at Lunds University, Sweden, who has been doing projects in translational medicine, synthetic biology, bioinformatics and most recently ethics. He was awarded the most prestigious award at the Sweden National Science Competition for Youth, 3rd award at Intel ISEF in 2018 and a gold medal at iGEM 2019. His most recent adventure is into the world of bioethics and genetic engineering. He’s hopeful, although worried, about what the future may bring.
As a student innovator, Shaira has worked on team projects involving Acoustics and Bioluminescence. These projects led her to to be a part of the Philippines team in international research competitions and meetings such as ISEF 2019, HKSSPC 2018, and ASA 178th meeting. Since 2017, she has been sharing her research knowledge and experience through talks, seminars, and student mentorships. Her current co-researchers are Neil David Cayanan and E'van Relle Tongol. She hopes that the awareness and involvement of the public in synthetic biology and ethics will lead to future
applications and policies.
Lester is a university student in Agricultural Biotechnology at The University of The Philippines - Los Baños. He and his co-researchers, Lia Tan and Alpha Acain, became finalists in the plant science category at Intel ISEF 2019, with their project that focused on agricultural and biosystems engineering. He also participates in organizations dwelling with population health like the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health and has competed in parliamentary debate nationals and discussions in community policy making. Coming from a family of farmers, he draws most of his inspiration from their stories - making them a vital part of his researches. He has dedicated his life into ethical researches that bridge science to the
people, for the people, and by the people.
Bea is an Agriculture student in the University of the Philippines Los Banos who has been doing microbiology, plant pathology and biotechnology-related studies since 2016. She was a two-time gold medalist at the Kaohsiung International Invention and Design Expo in 2016 and 2017 and a finalist at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2019. She is an ambassador for Science and ultimately an ambassador of the Creator of Science. Bea is particularly passionate about reaching the next generation and promoting STEM in her community through talks, seminars and mentorships. For her, synthetic biology could offer powerful solutions to the world's most intractable problems but could also lead to detrimental outcomes in the wrong hands.
Jay is a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Jay is the founder and CEO of his non-profit organization, MIND Relief, where he provides support to caregivers and family members of those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. He is also a two-time International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) finalist, two-time National Science Bowl finalist, and a one-time National Science Olympiad finalist. In addition, he is a student researcher at Louisiana State University, and has extensive research experience in neurobiology, chemical biology, and microbiology. Jay is also a Research Science Institute (RSI) Scholar, and a guitarist.
Neil Jiang is a rising 8th grader in Massachusetts. He attends many Buzz Online courses and enjoys them thoroughly. He’s a very secret person and not much is known about him. Neil swims for his town in the winter and places on the podium almost every meet. In the offseason he enjoys jogging on the trail near his house. He enjoys going on vacations and planning them with his mother. As of July 1st, he is currently mourning the loss of his vacation to Banff National Park in Canada. In his free time Neil can go into an almost dead state where he sits and stares at the floor, with music in the background. When he is not doing this, he enjoys 3d modeling in TinkerCAD and planespotting. Take him to an airport and he will happily name any plane for you. Again, all of this is unconfirmed.
Celine Choi is a high school senior attending A&M Consolidated High School. She is the 2020 UIL State Champion in Congressional debate for the state of Texas, a semi-finalist at the TFA State tournament, and a three time district champion and qualifier for NSDA Nationals in Lincoln Douglas Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Congressional Debate. In addition, as an avid lover of poetry and the creative writing community, Choi has been accepted into the Kenyon Young Writers Studio and the Iowa Young Writers Studio. Her work is published or forthcoming in Crashtest Literary Magazine, the Eunoia Review and the Heritage Review, among others.
Choi believes that finding one's voice, and amplifying it to its greatest potential, whether through public speaking or narrative, is a powerful means of political change and personal growth.
Stella Li is a senior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North in New Jersey. An alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop and an editor of Ephimiliar Journal, she has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Kenyon Review Short Nonfiction Contest, the National Flash Fiction Day Competition, the National Poetry Quarterly, and her mother, among others.
When not scribbling poetry out at 1AM, she can be found in her bed, under the covers, dreaming about dipping her feet in the Temple of Dendur water pool.