BICsters Win Best Team Presentation at H&A Grad Symposium

5/14/2019 Unknown 0 Comments


Big BIC congrats to Carmela Vecchione, Mohamed Amribet, Shane Tepper, and Sanjana Chowdhury who won the big prize at the H&A Graduate Student Research Symposium on Thursday, May 9th.

This year, the division of Humanities and the Arts organized a celebration of the most dynamic work coming from graduate students studying disciplines as varied as Digital and interdisciplinary Art Practice (DIAP) to philosophy.

The winning BIC team presented "The STEM Force," a project that they had developed last semester in BIC's 24-Hour Idea Hack course that partnered with VMLY&R, the Ad Council, and the Zahn Center to increase young girls' interest in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math).  This team wanted to encourage young girls ages 11-15 to stick with STEM by creating new role models in the form of superheroes. According to Carmela, "our rationale is that young girls look up to pop culture for inspiration and we usually see the smart, intelligent characters in TV shows/movies/cartoons as the socially awkward girl who is portrayed in a very stereotypical (sometimes negative) way."
The team's goal was to break this cycle by giving young girls diverse, authentic representation in the form of four female, teenage superheroes who possess extraordinary S.T.E.M. powers... The STEM Force! featuring Sofia, Tatiana, Evelyn, and Mileva. Each character specializes in one-part of the STEM acronym and are named after prominent women who were early trailblazers within the field.

The award of $300 was split among the team members. But as Carmela says, the prize money was just the cherry on top: "The feedback we got was just amazing! People seem very into our proposal, which makes us think it can actually be worth pursuing! Who knows?!"