On March 8, 2023, members of the TC community and the immediate tri-state area gathered in the Smith Learning Theater for our sixth STEAMnasium. STEAMnasium is the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology’s (MST) annual celebration of all things Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). Spearheaded by Department Chair Dr. Felicia Mensah, this year’s STEAMnasium focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and was funded by the Office for Community and Diversity Affairs.

The March 2023 DEI STEAMnasium featured eight stations, carefully crafted by MST faculty with the support of our graduate students:

  1. Visiting Assistant Professor of STEM Education Monica Miles’s (Science Education) Dust Bunny Challenge showcased the effects of environmental justice on health equity. Through playing a game, participants learned about asthma and the environmental factors which contribute to it.
  2. Mathematics Education Lecturer Rochy Flint, in collaboration with students in the Program of Mathematics Education, curated the Multicultural Math Spaces exhibit. This walkthrough featured an array of  Multicultural MathSpaces and mathematicians from underrepresented demographics. It also included a gallery walk and Sidewalk Math.
  3. Professor of Practice Ellen Meier’s (CMLTD) Center for Technology and School Change developed a K-12 Project-based Unit Design with Robots and Drones. ​​The station featured a “prototype” drone-construction activity and robots for attendees to control through an easy-to-learn coding app.
  4. Senior Lecturer and Director of the Games Research Lab Joey Lee, in collaboration with doctoral student Elliot Hu-Au, created the extremely immersive Dinosaur Dream Expeditions exhibit. This VR and AR-based activity allowed participants to take a virtual stroll through Dinosaur Park. 
  5. Professor of Mathematics and Education Irina Lyublinskaya developed the Tesselations Around the World station. Participants created art inspired by tesselations across the galaxy on laptops using GeoGebra. 
  6. Jessica Chen, a Lecturer in the Science Education program, facilitated the Elementary STEAM Explorations station featuring two activities. One activity helped attendees explore time, make sundials, and use their location and the sun’s location to tell time. The other activity examined how birds use the materials in their environments to build nests.
  7. Senior Lecturer Dr. Jessica Riccio’s (Science Education) No More Matildas exhibit sought to give visibility to those female scientists that history pushed into the background. In doing so, Dr. Riccio aimed to encourage young women to take on science-related studies. 
  8. CMLTD Lecturer Jin Kuwata’s Exploring ChatGPT station invited participants to learn and unlearn what they knew about ChatGPT. Here, participants shared their thoughts, played games, and tested out exciting prompts with this AI.

The MST Department is always excited about an opportunity to connect with our communities. We look forward to future STEAMnasiums and hope to continue developing new and exciting themes for this event. Learn more at https://steam.tc.columbia.edu/!