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Another STEM World at Foothill is Possible

Thank you to all who joined us on May 7th, 2022 for our first (and hopefully not last) STEMaTHON!

Saturday, May 7, 2022

10am to 4pm

In-person at Foothill College, PSEC Quad, by parking lot 4

The SLI STEMaTHON is a day-long event that centers on bringing Foothill students together to use design-thinking to brainstorm and address issues in STEM at Foothill and beyond. Students participating will tackle topics that focus on the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. The event’s goals are for students to…

  1. Learn about the different STEM issues at Foothill and how they affect underrepresented and isolated groups.
  2. Collaborate with others and brainstorm different solutions.
  3. Build a sense of community and create connections 

Why should I care and get involved?

There is power in numbers - bringing people together with their best thinking and working together to come up with solutions!

We have come up with six issues areas that we believe are REAL at Foothill that we want to have YOU come up with solutions to. The format of the STEMathon will involve putting you into issue groups to 1) better understand the issue and 2) come up with a solution that could be a viable way to address that issue.

Here are the topics:

WOMEN IN CS: Women often report that they feel isolated, excluded, and in the minority in CS and Engineering classes. How might we ensure that women feel a sense of belonging in those spaces?

GETTING THROUGH DIFFICULT STEM COURSES: Students from underrepresented groups often get weeded out of non-introductory STEM courses such as physics, calculus, and upper division courses. How might we support students who have the desire to persist in those classes? 

STEM PROJECTS FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT: Having meaningful project work is crucial for career development experience and to build one’s skills and resume. How might we increase opportunities and support for students who don’t already have projects they’re working on to gain that experience? 

STEM FOR ALL: It is hard to build community among one’s peers at a community college and in STEM courses where there may be more competition and less focus on camaraderie. How might we create more accessible and welcoming communities which enable open communication, collaboration and a sense of belonging for STEM students?

YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT DOESN’T KNOW: It can be hard to seek help, ask questions, or go to office hours as a STEM student because of imposter syndrome (where you feel like you’re not meant to be in a class because you’re not smart enough or you’re the only one who doesn’t understand something). How might we create a classroom environment where everyone feels they can ask questions and that it’s OK to ask for help? 

“FACULTY ARE YOUR FRIENDS” Connecting with faculty can be hard if you feel like you aren’t smart enough or you have nothing in common with that instructor, yet it is important for support and networking. How might we facilitate the building of bridges between students and instructors, especially for students who may be nervous and reluctant to try?

How’s the day going to run?

Here's the schedule for the event. This is subject to change as our planning team irons out details. 

9:30 - 10:30am: Registration and check in

10:00 - 11:00am: Welcome and opening

11:00 - 12:00pm: First round of STEMathon design thinking process

12:00 - 12:45pm:  Working lunch in small groups

12:45 - 2:30pm: Second round of STEMathon design thinking process

2:30 - 3:30pm: Final presentations and feedback

3:30 - 4:00pm: Next steps and closing

Who can participate?

Anyone who's taking classes at Foothill is welcome to join us!

Come if you...

  • care about these issues too!
  • are affected by these issue
  • have ideas for change
  • want to meet new people who also share common values
  • are just curious and want to check it out!

We will have two options for participation:

  1. Participate fully in the whole day
  2. Observe (with the option of becoming a participant at any time)

What will I get out of this?

There's so much you'll get out of this experience! 

  • Swag!
    • Free STEM t-shirt (with winning design from our recent t-shirt contest!)
    • Other Foothill and SLI swag
  • A chance to network, make new friends, and build community
  • A feeling of empowerment that you are contributing to making Foothill more inclusive for all STEM students

How can I sign up?

Wait till next year for more!

Is there anything else I need to know?

If you have questions, please reach out to SLI at

We encourage you to come with friends so you don't feel alone, though we will do our best to make sure everyone feels welcomed! 

Come with an open mind, with great ideas, and we'll have a great time together!

We hope this event complements the Business Innovation Challenge at Foothill, and we encourage you to participate in those activities and we are also hoping that there may be solutions that come from our STEMaTHON that could be presented at BIC! 

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