Brittany started her career in making when she discovered the joy of building marble maze towers taller than she was—if she built one now, it would be over six feet tall! As the proud daughter of a pilot, Brittany is excited to embark on her first real road trip. She comes to SparkTruck equipped with experience working with kids on the autistic spectrum as well as her learnings in the Product Design curriculum at Stanford, where she is a rising Junior. In her free time, Brittany enjoys sailing, skipping, skiing, sleeping, singing, and of course, sparking creativity!
Sarah’s first encounter with the maker movement was at age three when she made imaginary soup; if you asked her parents, they’d probably tell you it tasted like air. Slightly addicted to chapstick and a firm believer in the power of disposable cameras, farmers’ markets, and postcards, Sarah is ready to hit the road with SparkTruck. Her experience with environmental education, program development as an overnight camp counselor and Resident Advisor, and passion for instilling confidence in others brings her to SparkTruck with the utmost excitement. Sarah graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies, with a focus in Environmental Studies.
The first job Benji ever wanted was to be a taxi driver; his excuse being the love that he had for cars at the age of 5. At his grandparents’s home in Lima, Peru he would even build tiny lego garages where he would safely park his hot wheels overnight until the next morning. Nowadays though he drives his blue Honda spaceship to school at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he studies Product Design and is gathering skills in user experience. After interning at Motorola, on board of another truck filled with tools, he hopes to bring his experience in workshop planning and his love for prototyping to this year’s Sparktruck tour.
Steven was born in the Windy City at the intersection of art and science. He recently engineered a paintbrush holder that detects murky water and doesn’t spill when it’s knocked over. His art has been shared in Chicago, the Southern Italian Coast, and in Silicon Valley where he is currently an undergraduate at Stanford University studying Product Design Engineering and the Neuroscience behind art. Last year he spent his summer painting inspiring murals in the California Bay Area with creative youth in the community. This summer he is excited to incite creativity from youthful minds all across the country. He enjoys playing music, snowboarding, yoga, and experiencing new things.
Warren McQuinn, true blue-and-gold Berkeley bear, stands tall at 6’3 and is a warm and boisterous 21 year-old. He once built a wilderness-survival shack and slept in it for a few nights. This was a satisfying achievement, or so he thought until larger, bearier bears came along to inspect his work. He proudly protested the situation and ran faster than a CREAM cookie-sandwich on a hot day. Now, Warren is paw-rading around the country with his fellow Sparkplugs, putting his wit and askillities to task. He enjoys romantic candle-lit dinners in the truck, long drives on the beach, and befriending people.
Max built his first lego tower when he was around 5 years old, and then proceeded to test its durability with a mallet. A fan of making by breaking, Max will be coordinating the summer SparkTruck trip across the country from the SparkCave at Stanford’s d.school. A current Master’s student in the LDT program, Max is interested in the Maker Movement, healthcare and education, and the future of online learning. His excitement for K-12 education has him amped to see the results of months of planning for an amazing summer tour!
Eugene is a big fan of dessert. The last time he made a trip across the United States, it was on a bicycle, yet he still inexplicably gained 10 pounds along the way. He’s worked on giant LED sculptures for Jenny Holzer, taught design thinking to corporate executives, and once designed and ran a class on sketchbooking just so he could get a free Moleskine. Eugene holds a BA in Art and Art History from Williams College, and an MFA in Design from Stanford University.
Jason is a designer, maker, and explorer of new ideas. According to his mother, he learned to read by staring at cars and road signs from his car seat, and he has been fascinated by moving vehicles ever since. Jason has built robots, designed light sculptures, and taught classes in math, branding, and happiness psychology (not all at one time) at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and at the d.school. He holds a MS in Mechanical Engineering and a BS in Product Design from Stanford University.
Duygu (Didi) Erucman
Didi grew up watching travel shows on TV and she believes these programs are the hidden inspiration behind her career as a documentary filmmaker. So far, she has directed and edited six short documentaries, which have screened at many film festivals around the world. Didi loves dogs, traveling, and postmodern literature. She holds a BA in Political Science from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey, and an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University.
Rachel loves to imagine, create, and explore. At her high school, she turned a staircase into a life-size piano (think Tom Hank’s movie, BIG). Since then she has designed a wheelchair attachment for patients at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, safer baby products for Kid’s in Danger, and helped teach innovation and design at Nueva Summer. She is currently studying Manufacturing & Design Engineering and Psychology at Northwestern University.
Aaron spent his childhood in Washington State’s Olympic Rainforest where he surfed, hiked and built robots out of VCR parts. He loves traveling and has had epic adventures on nearly every continent in the world. Aaron has worked on dancing fountains in Dubai with WET Design, and developed devices for middle-aged beauty queens at IDEO. He holds a MS in Design from Stanford University, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Kathayoon loves animals, and strongly believes that sea otters are the cutest animal in the world. She has worked at the Oregon Zoo as a volunteer, conservation educator, administrative intern, research associate, and assistant camp director. She’s the most educated member of the SparkTruck team holding a MS in Environmental Science from Yale University, duel bachelor’s degrees in Organismal Biology and Literature from Claremont McKenna College, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Learning Sciences and Technology Design program at Stanford University’s School of Education.
Although his kickboxing alter ego Señor Spandex has been spotted a couple times on the Stanford campus, Prat’s passion is more often put to use getting SparkTruck’s supplies, equipment and money where it needs to be when it needs to be there. He’s a veteran designer having worked at Design Continuum and IDEO and has a particular love for medical products and bikes. Prat holds Bachelor’s degrees in Industrial Design and Computer Science from India, and an MS in Design from Stanford University.
Diane hails from Massachusetts but has spent good chunks of time building cabinets and designing lighting in Berlin and manufacturing electronics in China. She loves to build, cook, play volleyball and spend time at the beach, and thinks that people don’t write letters often enough. Diane holds a BS in Product Design from Stanford University.