Imaginative, Immersed, Enthusiastic

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

- Walt Disney



When she started with the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) in 7th grade, she immediately enjoyed how immersive the program was, with design challenges every week and learning how to use new devices like the laser cutter and 3D printer. Since then, she has taken part in many competitions and showcases including the San Jose Tech Museum's Tech Challenge, Maker Faire, and FIRST Tech Challenge. She has also participated in multiple science fairs, winning an award for her Synopsys science fair project in 2015. Outside of SLI, Mariana enjoys performing in school plays, drawing, and combining her tech and artistic skills in animation projects.

Good Deed App

Pixel Hacks, 2019

Developed an app that challenged a user to do good deeds in order to promote self-awareness and kindness in the community.

Drop and Dash

Tech Challenge, 2018

Engineered and built a car which could be activated via falling from a certain height in a competition hosted by the Tech Museum.


The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute (49ers SLI) provides multi-year, year-round academic support, STEM enrichment, skills training, and leadership opportunities to students in middle and high school. Students, who are with the program for six years from 7th through 12th grade, commit annually to 300+ hours of program learning time in addition to their typical school hours. By cultivating student mastery in STEM subjects and in key skill areas, the program prepares students for college and empowers them to pursue their passions; so that they may become the well-rounded leaders of the future. The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute is made possible by the strong partnership between Silicon Valley Education Foundation, 49ers Foundation, Chevron, and the Santa Clara Unified School District.

Special Thanks To...

49ers SLI students Danielle B, Stephanie K, & Jennifer L for designing and building this website.

49ers SLI students Iris C, Sriya S, & Lauren L for editing photos for this website

Photographers Thomas Hayes, Barry Fiedler, & Karen Lee Thompson for taking headshots of 49ers SLI seniors

Founding Partners