We combine advocacy with STEM skills development to encourage youth to pursue STEM and become changemakers in their own communities.

Photo of Mishti Dhawan
10 22

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Additional categories (optional)

  • Education
  • Environment

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

April 12, 2003

Help us stay in touch!

425-615-3627 2304 167th Ave NE Bellevue, WA 98008

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Instagram: @stemteen Website:

Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

STEM opportunities are often inaccessible to youth from low-income families due to high cost. Furthermore, many STEM opportunities don't teach students how to use their skills & apply them to solve issues in their own communities. Through our initiatives, we're trying to break the socio-economic barriers that prevent youth from accessing STEM-oriented opportunities, while also using our platform to bring awareness to issues in our communities.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

STEMTeen combines social good advocacy with STEM by providing resources for youth internationally through local workshops, regional chapters and free study resources. For example, we held an environmental sustainability workshop, where we talked about ways to combat climate change in an effort to teach students to be mindful of their carbon footprints. Students participated in fun activities like turning old t-shirts into tote-bags and leadership trainings. At another workshop, students constructed earthquake resistant buildings to develop their knowledge of earthquakes and to develop collaboration skills. We also have a blog where our team posts study tips, STEM opportunities, and interviews with STEM leaders. We are also establishing chapters across the world that seek to establish free tutoring programs, free workshops, and high school clubs. These chapters seek to make STEM more accessible to youth from all backgrounds. We also have a YouTube channel where we post educational videos. These videos are available to all students. All these initiatives are increasing youth involvement in STEM and giving youth opportunities they might not have had due to socio-economic factors.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

Both of us moved from India to the US in middle school. The STEM opportunities in school ignited our passion for STEM. While we were grateful to take engineering classes and participate in STEM clubs, after connecting with friends in India, we learnt that they didn’t have these opportunities. We wanted to help; we began researching-only to realize that a disparity in equitable education was present in the US as well. Many students aren’t exposed to STEM because opportunities, if any, are expensive. Initially, we started STEMTeen to bridge the disparity in access to STEM by providing free STEM opportunities. But through the process, we realized that we not only wanted to bring STEM education to youth, but we also wanted to empower youth to be changemakers. So, we created a platform that combines STEM with advocacy to create a community of changemakers who tackle issues in their community.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

We have multiple opportunities available for youth in elementary through high school, both in-person and online. If students are interested in attending STEM workshops, they can attend our workshops. For example, we are organizing a workshop for girls that provides a training on how to start businesses and initiatives that solve problems in our communities. Through this workshop, many young girls will be mentored and will learn how to give business pitches and create STEM related products. Another way students can get involved is through our Staff Writer/Editor program where students write and publish articles on our STEMTeen Blog. If students are passionate about taking initiative in their own communities, they can also do that by starting their own STEMTeen chapter by either starting a free peer tutoring program, setting up a high school club, or organizing free workshops.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

STEMTeen focuses on STEM for social good and teaches students how to apply skills to real world issues. Many other STEM initiatives just focus on leading activities to teach STEM related skills. Our goal is to increase diversity in STEM, and to create a future full of STEM leaders. STEMTeen is different from other initiatives because we offer a diverse range of resources: workshops, school related articles, volunteer opportunities, regional director leadership positions, YouTube videos, etc. Our goal is to bring STEM opportunities to all youth but also empower them to create change.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Our team includes 23 members from 6 states in the US. We organized 5 local workshops, focusing on problem solving & leadership through STEM. We have collaborated with 4 organizations. For example, we partnered with GroundZero Collective in WA & set up a booth at their art event to lead a workshop. We are also partnering with a non profit in India to host workshops at underfunded public schools. We are setting up chapters and currently have 3 set up in Bellevue, WA; Dallas, TX; and in British Columbia, Canada. Students who attend our workshops develop skills like collaboration & critical thinking. For example, in a marshmallow engineering challenge that we led, students collaborated with each other & brainstormed solutions. Our workshops provide students with the opportunity to develop essential leadership skills. Overall, we estimate that we’ve reached out to over 500 kids.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We are establishing chapters internationally; these chapters will be leading school clubs, tutoring services, & hosting events. Additionally, we use our own money to buy supplies; we plan to establish STEMTeen as a non-profit so that we can apply for grants to pay for supplies. We are also in the process of hosting workshops in India through our partner organization. These workshops will take place in government schools. Many of these schools are underfunded & lack basic resources which leads to less passion for education. Our goal is to empower these students through STEM activities & teach them how to apply the skills they learn. We seek to expand our initiative and bring more leadership and STEM opportunities to youth everywhere.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Project Management

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • T-Mobile page or contact


Join the conversation:

Photo of Vineet Kumar

Good luck Mishti!! Keep up this great work!

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