Skip to main content

Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Honoring America’s Best and Brightest

NEWS                                                               Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        880 S. Lemon Avenue
November 16, 2011                                        Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

 Honoring America’s Best and Brightest
Diamond Bar, Walnut High Seniors Named Siemens Semifinalists

Walnut, CA—Diamond Bar High senior Sean Jaw and Walnut High senior Dorothy Yim have been named Semifinalists in the prestigious Siemens Competition.

The Siemens Foundation announced the Semifinalists and Regional Finalists of the 2011-12 Competition in Math, Science and Technology in full page-ad in USA Today on October 27 and on the Siemens website.

Three hundred outstanding science research projects were selected from an all-time record-high of 1,541 entries. 

Sean and Dorothy are among 48 Semifinalists in the State. Both submitted individual projects that took hundreds of hours of research.

Sean’s research project tested the Stoner-Wolfhearth theory at extreme temperatures on ferromagnetic elements. The objective was to gain a better understanding of magnetism.

Sean began his research last March with physics professor Dr. Guo-meng Zhao at California State University, Los Angeles. He worked on the project one day a week during the school year and three to four days a week during summer months.

His favorite part of the experience was working in the lab and using machines on the Cal State L.A. campus.

Sean said he learned better confirmation of the Stoner-Wolfarth theory and helped take steps to promote to use of semiconductors as an energy source.

“In the future, I plan to contribute in saving energy, possibly utilizing superconductors,” he said.

Dorothy was accepted to the UCLA Undergraduate Research Program in genetics and worked with a team on a gene study to see which genes were important to blood development in fruit flies. Ultimately, they connected their findings to potential links to human leukemia and blood cancers.

She worked on the research for seven weeks last summer at the UCLA Laboratory with mentor Dr. John Olson and team members senior Julie Ko and junior David Lim from the Harvard-Westlake School. They submitted a team project for this year's Siemens competition.

“My favorite part was that I wasn't just being a passive participant in this program but rather a contributor to modern science. And since I'm still just a high school student, I find that very exciting!”

She had access to advanced equipment and a renowned professor from UCLA delivered a lecture to program participants.

“Of course I took away a new set of knowledge on genetics and whatnot, but the most important thing that I learned from this was how important perseverance was in achieving a dream,” she added.

Dorothy wrote to over 50 professors across the State asking to work in a lab with no success.

“My passion for biology told me to keep trying, and finally I got into this program, where I was able to enter the (Siemens) competition. In the end, my dream of being a Semifinalist came true! Not only that, I also feel that this has fueled my interest in genetics as a career,” she said.

Dorothy wants to pursue a career in the biomedical field to become either a doctor or a genetics/stem cell researcher. She truly believes there is a lot of potential in this area for curing diseases.

“We can all take heart in the remarkable work being done by this next generation of young innovators who will surely advance our nation’s leadership in science and technology,” said Jeniffer Harper‐Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation. 

The Siemens Competition is administered annually by the College Board, and awards college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 in individual and team categories. Regional finalists go head-to-head presenting their research with peers across the nation and the winners are invited to compete at the National Finals at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, December 3 – December 5, 2011.


Walnut High senior Dorothy Yim has been named a 2011 Semifinalist in the prestigious Siemens Competition.

Diamond Bar High senior Sean Jaw has been named a 2011 Siemens Competition Semifinalist. Only 48 State and 300 projects were selected from over 1,500 nationwide entries.