Our STEAM Superheroes
WE ARE STEAM.
Our team is entirely made up of STEAM students from across the United States who are passionate about bringing STEAM accessibility and affordability to kids worldwide. We are all minorities and volunteers.
Founder & President
Danielle Boyer is a young award-winning Indigenous (Ojibwe) robotics inventor, author, environmental activist, and tireless advocate for underserved youth who has been teaching kids since she was ten years old. Danielle creates innovative learning solutions utilizing robots that she invents and gives to kids for free to make technical education accessible. Armed with a desire to make the technical space an equitable one, she created The STEAM Connection, a nonprofit that has helped her reach hundreds of thousands of children worldwide with life-changing education. Danielle’s affordable tools champion the educational space and cost less than 20 USD to manufacture. By empowering underserved youth with technical skills, Danielle is helping them take back power in their lives, paving the way for a more sustainable, diverse, and innovative future. She has been named one of PEOPLE Magazine’s Girls Changing the World and a L’Oréal Paris Woman of Worth and currently mentors 35 youth robotics teams.
A huge congratulations to Danielle Boyer (Founder) and Dakshesh Daruri (Resource Manager) on winning the Verizon and Clinton Foundation Social Innovation Challenge for Danielle's newest invention called EKGAR: BioBotz that intersects biodegradability and robotics in our newest sustainability initiative. We cannot wait to further develop our work to benefit both our students and our Earth.
Board of Directors
Students Representing Students.
Our Founder, Danielle Boyer, is also on the Board of Directors. We made some recent changes to our team and are pending new team members!
Chief Financial Officer
Michelle Chuang is a young engineer, maker, and strong proponent for diversity and representation in engineering for girls and youth. Michelle is a 2021 graduate from the University of Washington - Seattle where she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a focus on controls and embedded systems and is about to start work at a large technical corporation to pursue her passions. Michelle is a strong maker, having helped design a vehicle for children with cerebral palsy and invent an autonomous robot that had varied movement and display responses to different levels of ambient lighting. Michelle currently resides in Seattle, WA where she spends her time volunteering, tinkering with new technology, and educating the next generation of brilliant minds.
Chief Operating Officer, Secretary
I am a student microbiologist at the University of Washington - Seattle who is studying quorum sensing, a form of bacterial communication that controls gene expression. I am an advocate for STEAM education, having mentored FIRST Robotics Team 4384 Benzene Bots. I am a frequent STEAM instructor, having taught many microbiology and environmental educational classes.
STEAM Girls Ambassadors - Leads
Vinaya Gunasekar, 13
Since Vinaya Gunasekar was a young child, she has worked to bring science and technology educational resources to other kids like her. She got started with helping start the science wing at her elementary school through her initiative, Project R.O.O.T in 5th grade. Now at age 13, Vinaya is an environmental activist and STEAM changemaker who is passionate about recycling and using technology and robotics to benefit our Earth in innovative ways. She is a member of all-girls FIRST Robotics Team Infinity & Beyond and is an ambassador of The STEAM Connection. She is currently working on making STEAM accessible to hospitalized children and is co-hosting the Hands-On Techie Talks podcast with Danielle Boyer to introduce kids to STEAM education during the pandemic. In her free time, you’ll find her working on a robot named Auto Oscar to clean recyclables off of school floors.
Teen STEAM Changemaker
Aishwarya Arvind, 17
I am currently a senior at International Academy East in Troy, MI. I first was introduced to STEAM through FIRST Robotics Team 4384 Benzene Bots. I was inspired by FIRST and the members on my team, so I began to start my own programs like STEAM Sisters to bring girls into STEAM.
Dakshesh Daruri, 18
Dakshesh Daruri is an incoming sophomore at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, majoring in Computer Science who is dedicated to providing quality STEAM educational resources for the children getting left behind. He has been a part of The STEAM Connection since it was founded and serves as the Resource Manager. He is a public speaker and Central and Engineering Student Government member based out of Troy, MI.