STEM Center Africa
Promoting STEM Education in Africa and Beyond
Denish Akuom, Founder
Denish Akuom is a full-time doctoral student and doctoral research assistant on The Maker Project at Montclair State University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree (Mathematics and Geography) from Karatina University in Kenya and a Master’s degree in Mathematics Education from Rutgers University. His research interests focus on exploring preservice teachers’ knowledge development through Making, specifically, how their engagement in 3-D designing and printing, and subsequently practicing with the manipulative designed supports their teaching and learning of mathematics. Coming across the Making concept for the first time and learning of its potential to the teaching and learning of mathematics, Denish decided to introduce the concept in Kenya through his start-up called STEM Center Africa. The center has been engaging students in 3-D designing and printing and also offering PD to practicing teachers on how to 3-D design and print a manipulative for teaching. At the center, they also offer other programs like coding, robotics, scratch programming, among others.
I would love to appreciate our donors who saw the need to support this initiative. Yes, we must give back to the community. Thank you!!!!
Antonina (Toni) York
Toni is a full-time doctoral student and research assistant who started in Fall 2018. She has a B.A. in Mathematics, Physics, and Music (Composition) from Drew University and a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in German from Oregon State University. She also has an M.S. in Mathematics (Education) from Montclair State University and an M.E. in Systems Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. She spent seven years working as a civilian engineer with the US Air Force, during which she got involved in several STEM Outreach programs. She still works with USAF STEM Outreach on a summer program called Engineering Camp. Her research interests include the integration of mathematics with computer science and the study of growth mindset in both students and teachers.
Finance and Resource Mobilization Director
Erin Pomponio is a full-time doctoral student and doctoral research assistant on The Maker Project. She recently completed her Master of Arts in Teaching degree with certifications in K-6, special education, middle school science, and art K-12. She fell in love with math at an early age and again through her recent coursework, and is now pursuing her PhD in Mathematics Education. Her background in music, fine art, medicine, and education provide her a unique lens with which she hopes to focus her studies. Although she’s a newcomer in the field, she aspires to work toward creating an accessible model of teaching that allows learners to experience a love and wonder of mathematics within the intersections of critical thought, collaboration, and creativity.
Program Coordinator (International)
Jessica Davidson is a double Masters student studying mathematics education and an adjunct professor at Montclair State University. She is also a research assistant on the TMML project, and brings research experience from leading market & brand studies at Internet media companies such as BuzzFeed and Yahoo prior to graduate school. Her focus of inquiry has since evolved to discovering and making things that matter through mathematics, including how to teach mathematics for social justice. Jessica holds her BA in Mathematics from Northeastern University in Boston.
Program Coordinator (Local)
Mr. Kennedy is an experienced mathematics teacher. In his work experience, he has engaged his students in a number of STEM projects.
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