Angelina Vuong: Spartan Wins Engineering Competition


Photo by Ralph Bedwell

Angelina Vuong, Pinole Valley High School’s own engineering challenge champion!

Angelina Vuong has made us Spartan proud! She and her team, nicknamed Oranite, won first place at the Junior Achievement of Northern California Social Innovation Camp. This event, at the Richmond Convention Center, was a day for students from all around Contra Costa County to participate in an event that challenges their innovation in solving day-to-day problems with a group and then presenting their idea.

Angelina has been participating in this competition since she was a freshman. This competition is available every year (except last year), meaning that Angelina has participated for three years.

“What exactly did you do in that competition, Lina?” I asked.

“So it was basically a competition where you had to come up with a business proposal, in relation to something that could benefit the community… You had like an hour or so to come up with an idea and fill out paperwork for your idea, and then you had like another hour to maybe an hour or an hour and a half to make the presentation and do all the prep work for presenting it. And you had three minutes [to present the idea] divided amongst all the people you had in your group. So I remember from previous years they’d have six people or five people in one group and you have three minutes in total. I was lucky, my group had four  people, including me, and we all had to do it in three minutes, which was good,” Angelina responds

Lina’s group, Oranite, decided to create a different type of alarm system. I’m not able to disclose any more than that, other than the fact that it won Oranite first place.  

“How did you feel about winning? Was it a big relief or…?” I questioned.

“Three years, finally paid off… So there’s a team there, called Nichrome … for some reason, when they called up first, we [Oranite] thought they said Nichrome… so we’re just like aww, good job … and we were clapping for [them]. And then we’re looking around at the Chrome Team and no one’s getting up. So then finally, they called our name again- they said Oranite … and then it hit us … they said Oranite … that’s us! So rather than feeling happy, we were confused,” Angelina elaborated. 

Oranite was a team randomly composed of students from all over Contra Costa.

“So winning an engineering competition, you must have a pretty significant interest in engineering. What do you plan to do with that interest?” I ask.

“I don’t have an interest,” Angelina says with the most solemn look on her face. We both start cracking up.

“In specific, I want to do business. So the only reason I joined engineering was because … it was more of the product side of business. So if I wanted to not get scammed or cheated on in the future, it would be beneficial. In addition, I always liked making things and stuff like that.” She responds, after both of us catch our breath. What an intriguing answer!

Angelina is aiming to go to either UC Berkeley or UPenn for college. Now that’s what I call determination. Good luck to her!