Oakland Tech engineers take top honors at state fair

lucygelbresize2.jpgOakland Tech’s Engineering Academy cleaned up at the California State Fair this year. According to proud academy mom Ann Daniels, the program took top honors, the instructor sweepstakes and numerous individual prizes.

(pictured left: Lucy Gelb, 3-D Cad)

I visited the selective academy in late spring for a story about three seniors — Aissata Nutzel, Juliana Velez and Naomi Zabel — who had been accepted into MIT. Students were intently working at drafting tables, and the walls were covered with architectural drawings and designs. It had the feel of a college studio.

Parker Merrill, whose students racked more points at the fair than any other group, started the program about 20 years ago. Tech’s winning students include:


First place: Hao Chen

Honorable Mention: Nicholas Klimberg

Honorable Mention: Benjamin Eto

Honorable Mention: Rashida Slater

(pictured left: Jenna Pollack, engineering principles)


third place: Matthew MacLeod


first place and Best in Show: Daniel Olsen

first place and Outstanding Project: Jasper Stroud

second place: Natan Jacobson

third place: Lucy Gelb

Honorable Mention: Adam Meckel

Descriptive Geometry, Hand Drawn

first place: Nancy Lau

second place: Davis Li

third place: Harvey Chang

Engineering Principles, Hand Drawn

first place: Jenna Pollack

second place: Shira Zingman-Daniels

third place: Robin Mounla

Honorable Mention: Anya Diamond

Green Architecture

third place: Juliana Velez

Honorable Mention: Yen Luong

Mechanical Drafting

first place and Special Award and Outstanding Project: Naomi Zabel and Aissata Nutzel

first place: Raisa Monroe-Yavneh and Alex Jasiulek

Multipart Assembly, Hand Drawn

first place: Alyssa Berkins

third place: Maria Alvarado

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • peter

    Congratulations Mr. Merrill and all Oakland Tech bulldogs!

  • Alice

    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE STUDENTS and their TEACHER! This is what happens when You Expects Excellence from all of us, the students then Expect Success from themselves.

  • Aminta

    This is awesome. Congratulations to the students as well as the instructors. News worth reading. Go Tech!

  • Doowhopper

    The academy concept at Tech is a true beacon of hope and reason for pride.The students are very motivated and enthusiastic.It is a joy when I get to sub over there and replace an academy instructor.You almost feel like you are in a college setting.
    Yet there are really TWO Oakland Tech High Schools-the academy and Padea programs and then the”regular”classes that become the dumping grounds for the less motivated or non college bound kids.The challenge for Tech is how to bring the majority of non academy students up to par with the college prep kids.

  • Julia

    Mr. Merrill, you’re the best of the best. Thank you for your support for the class of 2007!