Rabiah Mayas

Associate Director

Rabiah Mayas is a self-proclaimed lifelong science nerd whose passion for science education stems from her strong belief in science and scientific thinking as powerful tools toward equity and social justice. She joined Science in Society in 2017 after nine years at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, where she began her career in science education.

Rabiah completed her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology in 2007 at the University of Chicago, where she had a series of volunteer experiences with Chicago Public Schools students that solidified her interest in bridging the gaps between scientific research and K-12 students.  In 2008, Rabiah joined the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) as the Science Director for Science Chicago, a yearlong campaign that leveraged more than 140 partners and highlighted STEM through nearly 1,000 public programs.

After the completion of Science Chicago, Rabiah became the Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at MSI, where she led several initiatives within the Museum’s Center for the Advancement of Education. Key program areas developed or expanded under her leadership include programs in which youth interact directly with STEM professionals to learn the scientific and personal stories behind career pathways into STEM fields. She also oversaw the Museum’s digital fabrication laboratory (Fab Lab), public programs of the Black Creativity initiative, and other educational programs dedicated to youth-driven design, engineering and innovation. Rabiah also led the Museum’s evaluation and science learning research on educational programs and exhibit experiences.

Rabiah earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a certificate in Modern Languages and Linguistics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she was also Meyerhoff Scholar. Rabiah is a member of numerous professional societies, nonprofit boards and advisory committees for science learning, public engagement and social justice activities and is a certified Emergency Medical Technician She is also a regular guest on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight for their Scientific Chicago segments covering recent scientific discoveries and news. In her role at Science and Society and more generally, Rabiah is committed to work that ensures equitable access to STEM for all youth, families, and communities, as a key factor in their academic, economic, and health futures. 

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