Dr Rehan Shah and team win 'Best Innovation' Poster Award at QMUL Festival of Education

8 March 2024

Diversifying the STEM curricula award-winning poster
Diversifying the STEM curricula award-winning poster

Dr Rehan Shah, along with second-year undergraduate SEMS student Ms Ava Dahlia Belafonte were awarded the 'Best Innovation Prize' for their poster showcasing their scholarship research work on 'Making diversity count: empowering students to make STEM curricula more inclusive' at the QMUL Festival of Education 2024.

Colleagues and festival attendees were able to vote on all 50 posters over the two-day exhibition period in the Queens Building. Dr Shah was awarded with a certificate from the Queen Mary Academy.

In collaboration with Professor Claudia Garetto and PhD student Maria Fernanda Pintado Serrano from the School of Mathematical Sciences (SMS), Dr Shah led an educational initiative to increase students’ awareness of diverse representation within STEM disciplines, through exposure to mathematicians, scientists, and engineers from diverse and under-represented backgrounds, as well as those applying their skills within academia and industry through non-traditional pathways.

The co-creation project involved students in designing and helping embed teaching materials featuring short biographies of historic and current mathematicians, scientists and engineers from under-represented minority groups within Dr Shah’s and Prof Garetto's first and second-year undergraduate mathematics modules in both SEMS and SMS. Through studying biographies and watching videos, the students were introduced to inspiring examples of STEM professionals and positive role models.

One of the students, Ava (also an integral member of the Queen Mary Centre for Undergraduate Research), represented Queen Mary by presenting their poster at the recent 'Posters in Parliament' event held in the House of Commons in Westminster.

The teaching toolkit materials and multimedia resources will soon be available on the SEMS EDI webpage and will also be available for all academics across SEMS.

Dr Shah would like to thank the students for their contributions to the project, stating that "the students were very eloquent" in promoting and disseminating the impact of the project.

Contact:Rehan Shah
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