Yvonne Thevenot, M.Ed. | Founder & Executive Director
Yvonne is an educator-activist who believes that all students are capable of learning and that education can be used as a form of resistance against socio-economic marginalization. She has over 10 years of professional experience in the tech and financial private sectors as a Computer Scientist and Finance & Budget Analyst. She entered the education sector seven years ago and began working in informal STEM learning environments, teaching STEM content, developing curriculum, and supporting schools and community-based centers in the New York and New Jersey area with launching computer science, engineering, robotics, science, and creative technologies afterschool programs. In 2015, she founded STEM Kids NYC, an education nonprofit organization that bridges the gap between the current school curriculum and the immediate need for schools to prepare students for experiential STEM skills, particularly in Science, Computer Science and Engineering & Design, and for jobs that do not yet exist. At STEM Kids NYC, students between the ages of 4-19 learn how to code, engineer, engage in Science in experiential ways, build robots, then program them, and innovate using creative technologies.
She has a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from the University of Dayton, a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California, and an Ed.M. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. Yvonne is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Teachers College’s Mathematics, Science, & Technology department, is a Zankel Fellow and is a research assistant with Teachers College’s Center for Technology and School Change.
Yvonne’s research interests lie within the intersectionality of STEM disciplines and using culturally responsive/sustaining curricular methods and social justice education pedagogies to support the whole student in thriving academically in STEM learning spaces. Yvonne is currently a Publishing Editor for the education journals, Voices In Urban Education, and Teachers College’s Current Issues in Comparative Education. She has presented her body of work on culturally responsive STEM curriculum, as well as a new pedagogical construct that she co-founded, which is centered on feminism and critical race theory, called Sisterly Responsive Pedagogy, in numerous education conferences at Teachers College, Columbia University’s Women in Science at Columbia symposiums, and the National Association for Research in Science and Teaching.
She is a hockey mom to her son, Blaise (named after the mathematician), and enjoys fitness boot camp and HIIT classes. She and her son currently reside in North Bergen, New Jersey.
Stephanie Haughton has a Master of Science in Computer Science from Lehman College, CUNY and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems from Monroe College. As far as Stephanie can remember, she has always wanted to be an educator and her ability to teach was evident to others as one of her professors recommended her to teach an undergraduate course during the last semester of her Master’s program. Stephanie has four (4) years of experience teaching undergraduate students Computer Information Systems (CIS) courses such as, Network Introduction, Intro to CIS, E-Commerce and programming using Python and Visual Basic programming languages. She also worked as a Junior Database Administrator and was responsible for designing, developing and maintaining databases.
Stephanie joined the STEM Kids NYC team in 2018 and has been teaching STEAM courses to PreK - 9 students. She also teaches CodeSchool, Engineering & Design, and Creative Technologies. She enjoys witnessing the diversity of growth in students, and their joy in learning as well as empowering them with new skills and knowledge.In addition to teaching, Stephanie enjoys singing, cooking and listening to music as well as spending quality time with family and friends.
Tidiane Cisse is a current student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, working on a Criminology Major and a Computer Science Minor. He was born and raised in the Bronx. Being a teacher is something that has always come natural to him, as many, many people have asked for his assistance over the years. For two years, he was a mentor of college students at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He has been playing around with computers ever since his early days of Elementary school, being affectionately known around as the “tech” guy. At STEM Kids NYC, he teaches Computer Science to K-5 students.
Amanda Grutza is a STEM Educator specializing in Robotics, Engineering and Maker Space curriculum. She works with various schools and nonprofits in the New York City area to develop and implement in-house & virtual STEM & Maker programs, as well as coaching award winning robotics teams. She has worked with various institutions to create innovative and inclusive tech programs, such as STEM Kids NYC, NASA, Skanska, the First LEGO League and the Girl Scouts of America.
Her D.I.Y. STEM program was featured in Samsung’s 2018 Education initiative, and she was recently the recipient of STEM Teacher NYC’s Professional Development scholarship. Her goal is to spread her passion for technology and the sciences to students of all ages, and help build up the next generation of engineers, rocket scientists, and robotics masters, with an emphasis on giving students who are traditionally underserved in the STEM fields, especially young women who are often overlooked for these positions. Her dream is to help build a world where all children are free to utilize the innate curiosity and inventiveness they naturally possess. She is a big fan of anything that lights up and can be taken apart!
An Engineer and Educator, with a B.A in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science and Physics from CUNY Hunter College as well as a B.S in Electrical Engineering from SUNY New Paltz, Atta is a renaissance man. An immigrant from Ghana, West Africa, Atta developed a passion for STEM in his youth through his passion for creating. Whether it was going to the junkyard for parts to build model cars or finding parts to build and/or fix bicycles, he always tried to find a way to use the resources available to him to build. Having taught high school mathematics in the city, he tries to share his knowledge as well as his experiences to inspire and engage youths who might not necessarily have sufficient resources to expose themselves to STEM and STEM education. Outside of STEM Kids NYC, Atta engages himself with other interests, such as soccer and running. He also loves music and sound, and so practices guitar and tries to create new sounds through coding and electronic circuits.
Hello! On behalf of STEM Kids NYC, I wanted to introduce our program that bridges the gap between the current curriculum in schools and the immediate need for schools to prepare students for future STEM opportunities. Founded by Yvonne Thevenot and known as the Culturally Responsive STEM Curriculum, this curriculum recognizes the different kinds of cultures that exist within the classroom and that culture is not just a construct derived from ethnicity or nationalism. Students will spend their day being taught by our outgoing teachers who have bachelors and phD’s in computer science, science, and mathematics. We also provide various programs and activities such as CodeSchool, Engineering & design, Robotics and so much more! All of this is implemented in our virtual learning pods that allow students to actively perform enjoyably in class with the right assistance and materials that help them develop their STEM identity.