Founded by two MIT alumni and a former NYC public school teacher with over 25 years combined experience in education, Stoked on STEAM strives to make science, technology, engineering, and math accessible to learners by integrating their practice seamlessly with art & design in a project-based setting.

Our core values are respect, integrity, and perseverance. We also incorporate communication skills, time management skills, and the principles of good design into our programs because they are essential for success in today’s world.

The company

Stoked on STEAM makes open-ended creativity and problem solving the focal point of learning. We have developed workshops (modules) to help teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills seamlessly with art and design because, for us, these fields are inseparable. Our modules are just the beginning: once you have a taste for inquiry, we would love to hear what problems YOU want to solve, and we’re here to help you do that. Through access to our facilities and our mentorship, you can pursue any project you set your mind to. We endeavor to make a safe, judgment-free space for exploration because we believe that failure is important and that learning happens when we push ourselves farther than we think we can go. We feel that mentorship plays a vital role in collaborative learning, and we are committed to encouraging lifelong learning for everyone.

Stoked on STEAM is fiscally sponsored by sprout & co., a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Somerville, MA. If you would like to contribute to our work and mission, please contact Christina at christina [at] stokedonsteam [dot] org.

The people

Together comprising over two decades of experience working with learners, Christina, Anneliese, and L decided  that teaming up would allow them to do so much more than working separately. Teaching, tutoring, workshop-ing, and mentoring fill our resumes – we figured you’d probably want to know some other things about us than just the stuffy details. Let us know if you want to hear more!

Christina Chestnut (executive director) – Studying engineering at MIT taught her that no problem is too hard to solve – that the key is to find the right approach and the answer will emerge. That commitment led her time and again to informal education: at the Women’s Technology Program, the Office of the Arts at MIT, and finally to private tutoring. She has nearly her requisite 10,000 hours of one-on-one mentorship and educational guidance. Deciding that it was time to take her expertise to a larger audience, she started Stoked on STEAM with Anneliese and L with idea that it was time to take a public stand on how to make education conform to how people learn (not the other way around). In the rest of her life, she curates a monthly salon for the sharing of ideas and art, knits, bakes, hikes, and plays the harp. christina [at] stokedonsteam [dot] org

Anneliese Haines (program director) – After a brief time spent in corporate finance and risk management post-college, she became a NYC Teaching Fellow and taught high school math in Harlem.  She left the classroom after seven years to pursue her PhD in math education at Rutgers University where she is in her fourth year of studies.  Her commitment to education stems from the conviction that critical thinking and the ability to problem solve are skills that all students need regardless of academic interest.  She is a co-founder of Stoked on Steam with Christina and L because she believes that the need to create should drive the desire to understand.  She is excited about introducing students and teachers to STEM topics in a safe space through art project-based learning.  Her other interests include competitive cycling, fashion, and gardening.   anneliese [at] stokedonsteam [dot] org

L Nichols (creative director) became interested in STEAM education while studying mechanical engineering at MIT. “After taking a mathematically intensive course on dynamic motion, I realized that I could solve equations and still not have an intuition for what was happening. As a result, I decided to construct for my undergraduate thesis a prototype of a kinetic sculpture that used gyroscopic precession as the basis for movement. For me, exploring a mathematic/mechanical concept through a hands-on and artistic way allowed me to grasp the subject in a way I couldn’t previously.” After receiving an undergraduate degree, L went on to study with the Future of Learning group at the MIT Media Lab. “There, I ran workshops focusing on building kinetic sculptures as a way to learn about mechanical engineering concepts in a more accessible and hands-on way. I was awarded the Highlands & Islands Enterprise fellowship for my work, and traveled around Scotland running these workshops in various schools and at science festivals.” With Stoked on STEAM, L hopes to continue this work and seeks to inspire people of all ages to create, explore, and dream. When not at Stoked on STEAM, L is a graphic designer, comics artist, sculptor, painter, publisher, illustrator, hiker, biker, etc.  L [at] stokedonsteam [dot] org


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