A panel of IEEE STEM Champions and STEM Grant recipients discuss their STEM outreach programs.
Stamatis has a 12 year experience in teaching programming languages, algorithms and data structures on a variety of student ages and education levels. Eight years of experience out of 12 are in pre-university students as an Educator in private primary schools and public high schools. He is certified Soft Skill Trainer by Erasmus+. He is an inquiry based learning enthusiast and he strongly believes that soft skills development is one of the most important concepts that is missing in today’s Educational System.
Assistant Professor, Ammachi Labs
Gayathri Manikutty is an assistant professor and a computing education research lead at Ammachi labs, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India. She is a Senior IEEE member and Vice Chair for IEEE Special interest Group in Humanitarian Technologies (SIGHT) Kerala Section. She is also the STEM and Humanitarian Activities Coordinator (HAC) for IEEE Education Society Kerala Section besides being the student branch counsellor for IEEE Amrita EdSoc SB. She has been an IEEE STEM Champion since 2021 and has received IEEE TryEngineering STEM grant for two consecutive years for a junior Makeathon program STEAM For Social Good. Over the last 6 years, she has conducted STEM outreach programs benefitting more than 1500 K-12 students studying in over 25 schools in Kerala, conducted workshops and training sessions on environment literacy, UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), robotics and IOT for over 900 K-12 students from grades 7-9 in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Telengana, and Andhra Pradesh as well as conducted teacher training sessions for 25 teachers. She has guided nearly 30 bachelors and masters student projects in robotics and automation for various humanitarian applications and mentored over 125 K-12 student STEM projects based on design thinking and social innovation.
Prior to joining Ammachi labs, she worked for 11 years at Intel Corp. in Austin, Texas, USA as a design automation and validation engineer. At Intel, she was part of the team that created Intel Atom microprocessor chips and SOCs with Bonnell and Silvermont microarchitectures. She graduated with a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, USA in 2000. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Cognitive Science and Technology at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kerala, India.
Professor, Mathematics and Computing Science, Concordia University
Rossitza Marinova is a Professor in Mathematics and Computing Science at Concordia University of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where she has worked since 2004. Prior to joining CUE faculty, Rossitza worked as a research scientist in the software development industry in Canada and in a government research laboratory in Japan. Rossitza has been involved in teaching and advising students for research and scholarship at both the graduate and the undergraduate levels.
Rossitza Marinova is passionate about mathematics and computing education. She is a founder of the Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest in 2006 and Canada’s Representative in the International Association organizing the international mathematics competition Mathematical Kangaroo. Her involvement with IEEE started in 2005, and she became a senior member in 2010. Presently, Rossitza is the Training Coordinator of IEEE Region 7 (Canada), and a member of Canada’s IEEE STEM Outreach committee. She had also been Canada’s Chair of the Educational Activities Committee (2017-2020). Dr. Marinova received the IEEE E.F. Glass Western Canada Merit Medal in 2017 for her volunteering at the local level of the Northern Canada Section.
Lecturer, Jigme Namgyel Engineering College, Royal Univ of Bhutan
Mr. Sangay Chedup is a Lecturer at Jigme Namgyel Engineering College, Royal University of Bhutan. He has been teaching since January 2008. Currently, he serves as the Dean of Research and Industrial Linkages at Jigme Namgyel Engineering College. Besides teaching, he is responsible for promoting research and internationalization of the college.
Mr. Sangay has been actively engaged in grassroots STEM education promotion. Identifying the significance of equal access to STEM learning, he started helping the rural students, underprivileged youths in rural Bhutan learn STEM through microcontroller coding in 2019. This initiative of his is to encourage rural youths to take STEM courses as the choice of their study in higher education. Grassroots STEM programs align with that of UN SDG 4 and SDG5 which underpins the wholesome aspect of STEM education capabilities.
He has been IEEE STEM Champion since 2022. He was the recipient of IEEE Pre-University STEM portal Grant, the only one from Bhutan in 2022. The grant enabled him and his colleagues to cover 447 (211 girls and 236 boys) students in 10 schools with 4-5 days of STEM workshops with additional financial support from UNICEF-Bhutan.
Chair, IEEE Students Activities Committee, Uganda Section
Dan Ahimbisbwe, the current Chair of the IEEE Students Activities Committee in the Uganda Section, has been a dedicated IEEE member for six years, initially joining as a student member. He played a pivotal role in establishing the IEEE Kyambogo Student Branch, where he served as a webmaster and assumed various leadership roles, ultimately becoming its Chair.
Throughout his IEEE journey, Dan has been an ambassador for various IEEE initiatives, including IEEE Day, Extreme, MADC, and as a brand ambassador. He actively contributes to IEEE societies and played a crucial role in founding the IEEE Kyambogo Photonics Chapter and the WIE Affinity group. Under his leadership, the IEEE Photonics Chapter earned the title of “Most Innovative Student Chapter 2021,” and it was recognized as the IEEE Region 8 Small Student Chapter of the Year in 2021.
Dan is also an active member in the STEM community, particularly in pre-university activities. He has organized events such as the IEEE Teachers in Service Program and Robotics workshops. His commitment to STEM education led to his selection as a STEM Champion in both 2022 and 2023. Moreover, Dan secured STEM grants for IEEE TryEngineering, enabling the “My Robotic Friend Uganda” project, which introduces schoolchildren to robotics using LEGO educational robotic kits.
Dan’s dedication extends to innovative STEM initiatives. He currently leads the IEEE Innovative Student STEM Program, an initiative designed to introduce underserved primary school children to STEM through robotics, electronics, optics, and programming, with support from IEEE EPIC and Photonics Society. Additionally, he spearheads the “One Million Girls Pads Project,” aiming to provide reusable pads and menstrual hygiene education to at least one million girls, ensuring they can attend school without disruption during their menstrual periods.
His commitment to humanitarian projects is equally commendable. Dan has won and actively participated in projects that provide solar systems and computers to children in underserved communities, supporting education, health, and innovation.
He and his team have collectively visited over 16 primary and secondary schools across Uganda nurturing the next generation of innovators, fostering a brighter future for Uganda and beyond.