Each year, an Iowan of distinction in STEM is selected to be featured on a classroom poster distributed to thousands of teachers across the state. Career-linked learning helps students connect the dots between skills learned in the classroom and real-world application. Dr. Duhita Mahatmya, a research scientist for the College of Education at the University of Iowa, is this year’s STEM Gem for her inspirational work. She uses her mathematics knowledge every day at work despite not necessarily a passion of hers in school. The more Mahatmya worked with numbers, the more she found the power of mathematics to explain things.
“In school, we often focus on the scientific method and collecting data in a very controlled setting such as a lab. What I find exciting in my role is that I take the data and mathematical findings to determine how we make it work in a less controlled environment, our day-to-day lives,” said Mahatmya. “I encourage students to keep a curiosity about numbers and how it applies to real-world applications. When you are reading an article and see percentages or polls, recognizing the math behind it helps you to understand the full story.”
In total, sixteen STEM Gem posters have been created featuring career fields in mathematics, medicine, STEM teaching, engineering, computer science, agriculture, aviation, race car driving and students preparing for future STEM careers.
The 2023 STEM Gem poster featuring Mahatmya will be mailed out to mathematics, science, technology and engineering educators across Iowa. To access the entire STEM Gem poster series visit iowastem.org/stem-gem-poster-series.