During my last year at MIT, my amazing friend Danielle and I bonded over our shared love of feminism, the arts, and smashing stereotypes. She was a computer science genius and cheerleader; I was a writer and aerospace engineer. We met at Senior House, a haven for artsy students that MIT destroyed*. While this is a sad time for us, Danielle’s boundless energy, courage, and intelligence have always inspired me, so I draw strength from her presence! I was honored to speak on a recent panel at an event for her nonprofit, Gique. Gique’s focus is bringing the joy of STEAM to youth—that’s science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

Gique’s Science Can DANCE! program provides youth a way to explore STEM concepts through creative movement and dance choreography. It’s led by local dancers who are also scientists and engineers—an awesome intersection that delights me every time I see it! This summer’s lineup included a workshop on art and design, featuring a panel of STEAM enthusiasts that I was lucky enough to join.

Here are some highlights from social media:

We Thank Our Incredible Panelists For Speaking At Our Art+Design Panel This Morning at BPL! Jess Tatara is an Artist Who Worked on the World's First Solar-Powered Art Show. ‍ Natalia is a Physicist and Astronomer Who Runs Her Own Radio Show. ‍ Lisie is a Google Software Engineer and also a Professional Ballerina. ‍ Nivair is an Aerospace Engineer who is also a Children's Literature Author. ‍ There Are So Many Ways To Combine Your Passions For Both The Arts + Sciences! . . #boston #dudleysquare #productdesign #artsmatter #bostondancers #bostonhiphop #hiphop #bostondance #hydepark #dorchester #roxbury #mattapan #community #gique #giveback #sciencecandance #dance #science #tech #engineering #art #Bostonpubliclibrary #bpl #bostonsummer #bos #iloveboston #changetheworld

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Getting to chat with other artists/scientists/engineers was such an incredible experience! Then, I got the treat of watching Gique cofounder Ashli’s choreography workshop, based on a product design exercise. All of the attendees, us included, left with our heads buzzing, full of new ideas. I’m so grateful to know Danielle and all the Giques, and I can’t wait to see what they do next!

*”The only important elements in any society are the artistic and the criminal, because they alone, by questioning the society’s values, can force it to change.” — Samuel R. Delany, Empire Star