Science in Society welcomed a new associate director this summer. Rabiah Mayas joins the team in this newly created leadership position to guide and develop the Center’s core initiatives, including both K–12 STEM education and researcher training programs.
Prior to joining Science in Society, Rabiah served as the Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), where she managed the museum’s informal education programs, maker space, learning evaluation team, and professional development and science education initiatives.
“We are delighted to have such a nationally-respected leader in STEM education join our growing team,” said Michael Kennedy, Research Professor and Director of Science in Society. “Rabiah Mayas brings an exceptionally strong track record in building strategic partnerships and developing rigorous science engagement opportunities for Chicago youth and communities."
Rabiah is committed to ensuring equitable access to STEM for all youth, families, and communities – a key factor in their academic, economic, and health futures. “As a scientist and an educator, my passion for science education is rooted in the belief that scientific thinking and discovery are powerful tools for equity and social justice,” Rabiah said. “I’m excited to leverage and deepen my commitment to this work through Science in Society’s partnership-driven approach to learning and research.”
Rabiah completed her PhD is biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago in 2007. As a graduate student, she had a series of volunteer experiences with Chicago Public Schools students. These experiences solidified her interest in bridging the gaps between scientific research and K–12 students.
In 2008, Rabiah joined MSI as the Science Director for Science Chicago where she orchestrated a yearlong campaign that leveraged more than 140 partners and highlighted STEM through nearly 1,000 public programs. Named Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at MSI in 2010, Rabiah led several multi-disciplinary initiatives within the Museum’s Center for the Advancement of Education. Under her leadership, the Museum expanded the digital fabrication laboratory (Fab Lab) and other maker-based learning experiences, the Black Creativity programing series for youth and families, and other programs designed to connect youth with STEM professionals.
Rabiah also led the Museum’s science learning research and evaluation of educational programs and exhibit experiences. She served as Co-Primary Investigator on an NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) and supervised an NSF-funded Advancing Informal Science Learning (AISL) grant, researching long-term impacts of out-of-school STEM engagement on teen career pathways. She currently serves on several boards and committees, including the Chicago Children’s Museum Advisory Board and the Chicago Ideas Brain Trust, and is a regular Scientific Chicago segment guest on WTTW Chicago Tonight.
We are thrilled to have Rabiah on our team. Please join us in welcoming her to Science in Society!