about us

our mission

STEAM On was founded because of the inequality that exists in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math fields. Low-income, LGBTQ+, female, and first-generation students do not always have the same opportunities and resources to explore STEAM relative to their peers. In addressing this disparity, we like to think globally and act locally. By keeping the big picture in mind, incorporating a vast array of backgrounds and perspectives, and working with young people in our smaller communities, we make our impact. As a student-run nonprofit, we have a unique perspective on the issues we are tackling. Particularly, as a group of young people coming from some of these more disadvantaged backgrounds, we can better connect with the people we are addressing and make positive change. Understanding the problems facing our communities allows us to drive change from the ground up and then let our impact ripple out. We are excited to help bridge the divide in STEAM and see the effects of our mission at work.


meet the team

Zoe Simon

Founder and CEO

Zoe is an incoming freshman at Princeton University. Zoe founded STEAM On because she is passionate about leveling the playing field in STEAM education for students of all backgrounds, particularly for low-income and first-generation students and young women. Passionate about increasing accessibility to high-quality learning resources and mentors, Zoe is excited to expand STEAM On and help provide those underrepresented or disadvantaged students with opportunities to explore their passion. In her free time, Zoe enjoys playing tennis, taking pictures, debating, and listening to rap.


Skyler Basco

Chief Operations Officer

Skyler is a high school junior from Merrick, NY, and the Chief Operations Officer for STEAM On. Skyler joined STEAM On because she strives to provide underserved and first-generation youth with outlets to foster their curiosity for learning, discovering, and making. As a STEAM multipotentialite, she is constantly eager to learn about the latest biotechnologies (especially CRISPR-Cas9). Apart from the sciences, Skyler has always been enamored with the visual arts (especially origami, painting, and drawing)!

Aashi Mendpara

Co-Director of Programming

Aashi Mendpara is a high school junior from Orlando, FL, and the Co-Director of Programming for Steam On. After recognizing the lack of pathways to STEAM learning in her own community, she became a fierce advocate for equitable education. Aashi wants to provide quality resources and opportunities to students of all backgrounds so that underserved youth feel empowered to pursue their passions! In her free time, Aashi likes to volunteer, search for boba, and shop for pens and stickers.

Jed Quiaoit

Co-Director of Programming

Jed Quiaoit is a junior at Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, California, and the Co-Director of Programming for Steam On. Jed is eager to provide resources to narrow the gap between low-income and first-generation youth and their more fortunate peers. He strongly believes that a student's identity or background should not deter them from pursuing their passions in STEAM. IN his spare time, Jed also plays the piano, cuddles with dogs, and enjoys volunteering at local events.

Janani Shivakumar

Director of Partnerships

Janani Shivakumar is a sophomore at Metuchen High School in New Jersey, and is serving as the Director of Partnerships for Steam On. She is very active in promoting gender equality in different fields, especially when in comes to careers in STEAM, in which there is a lack of strong female role models. Janani is also very passionate about creating solutions to global problems like climate change through new technologies. Janani enjoys playing soccer and reading, and she loves animals!


Samyukta Iyer

Co-Director of Communications and Marketing

Samyukta Iyer is a sophomore at the Wheeler High School Center for Advanced Studies in Marietta, Georgia, and the Co-Director of Communications and Marketing for Steam On. She is passionate about STEAM outreach and equity of resources and opportunities for underserved and first-generation youth. Samyukta hopes to strengthen and expand the reach of Steam On in her own community, as well as around the world. In her free time, Samyukta enjoys writing, performing and creating music, studying languages, and hiking.

Estrella Popoca

Co-Director of Communications and Marketing

Estrella Popoca is a Junior from Chicago, Illinois, and the Co-Director of Communications and Marketing for Steam On. Estrella is an aspiring aerospace engineer who hopes to further pursue her passions and advocate for women’s inclusion in STEAM. Since 2017, she has been on her High School’s Robotics team to be involved in Media Creation as well as to learn about engineering. She also loves participating in Newspaper and Yearbook. During her free time, she loves to watch TV shows, drink boba, and hang out with friends!

Ishika Kohli

Co-Director of Recruitment

Ishika Kohli is a junior at The Academy of Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences and the Co-Director of Recruitment for Steam On. Pertaining to academics, Ishika has a passion for biology, neuroscience, psychology, and the medical field in general. She enjoys volunteering and working with kids and aspires to be a pediatrician. Aside from academics, she enjoys hiking, baking, and painting!

Manasa Lingireddy

Co-Director of Logistics

Manasa Lingireddy is a junior from Bellevue, Washington and is serving as the Co-Director of Logistics. From building robots to programming in JAVA, STEAM has always been something that she was interested in. Through Steam On, she hopes to empower students and encourage them to pursue their interests in STEAM. Manasa also participates in her school's Speech and Debate team as well as HOSA. In her free time, you can find her either sleeping or binge watching the latest t.v. shows on Netflix.


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