STEM & STEAM

I have been involved in STEM education for many years – from developing innovative curriculum materials and learning technologies, to starting new organizations locally and nationally to advance STEM, to advising city, state, and national leaders on STEM education policy. My Speaking page lists some of the talks I have given.

For example, at Northwestern I served as the founding director of the Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP). This office works to bring the STEM resources of Northwestern University to the K-12 community by partnering with faculty and a broad range of community stakeholders.  We created a network of over 200 schools and district partners reaching over 50,000 students in the Chicagoland area and secured over $10M in federal and private STEM education R&D funding.  See my Projects page for examples of current and past projects.

I have developed a broad and deep set of relationships with STEM education leaders nationally and internationally as well as program officers and leadership at NSF, Department of Education, Department of Energy, National Geographic, Smithsonian, BSCS, MacArthur Foundation, STEM education-related members of Congress and their committee staff, and numerous other regional and national STEM education organizations. I am also proud of my role in helping to launch the National Alliance for Broader Impacts to further develop capacity for scientists and their institutions to engage the public in their research.

Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon, Kemi Jona, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Reed Stevens at the opening of a FUSE Studio at the new Humboldt Park Library YouMedia teen space.
Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon, Kemi Jona, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Reed Stevens (L to R) at the opening of a FUSE Studio at the new Humboldt Park Library YouMedia teen space.

Recently, I have been working on incorporating arts and design into STEM, now referred to as STEAM.   My FUSE Studios project (with colleague Reed Stevens) is a compelling example of the benefits of integrating creativity, design, and art into STEM.  FUSE has been adopted by over 60 schools and libraries around the country and in Helsinki, Finland.

 

 

 

 

 

Kemi Jona leading teachers and administrators in a design thinking session at the 2015 STEAM Summit at Northwestern.
Kemi Jona leading teachers and administrators in a design thinking session at the 2015 STEAM Summit at Northwestern.

I have also been working with the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern to help K-12 administrators and teachers understand the power of STEAM and design thinking and develop capacity for implementing STEAM practices and courses in their schools and districts.  More information and resources can be found here.