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July 6, 2023

The “Belief in them” is Greater Than the Lesson (w/Apoorva Panidapu)

This video was originally published by our partners at iteach, a part of our parent company K12 Coalition, on November 28, 2022.

Apoorva Panidapu is a well-known, young figure in the world of STEAM education and girls’ leadership. As Chief STEAM Advisor and global ambassador of the Girls Leadership Academy Meetup (GLAM), she has been mentoring girls aged 8-12 from different socioeconomic backgrounds for the past four years.

Recently, Apoorva hosted the 2022 GLAM Virtual Event with eBay, where girls were able to participate in coding in Scratch, create vision boards, ask thoughtful questions, and develop innovative ideas to address issues they are passionate about. Through this event, the girls were able to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how to brainstorm and pitch their business ideas effectively.

As our partners at iteach interviewed Apoorva, they asked her to share her thoughts on STEM and STEAM and what she sees as the future of education. She provided valuable insights on how to make STEM more engaging and relatable for students. As she stated, “… a lot of my peers didn’t enjoy STEM so I wanted to make it relevant and current, like a fun story to read.”

Apoorva’s writing, particularly her blog Gems in Stem, reflects her passion for making STEM topics more relevant and relatable to her readers. In one of her posts, she discusses “sampling bias” in a catchy titled article “Why You Aren’t Popular.” Her approach to writing helps to engage and inspire students to learn more about these important topics.

In this interview, explore Apoorva’s perspective on the power of listening in education and how it can make a difference in empowering students to find their voice and take on leadership positions. Join us as we learn from her insights and experiences in the world of STEAM education and girls’ leadership.

Why is STEM so Important?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There is a significant push from a number of organizations to improve STEM education because innovation and advancement rely heavily on these feilds of study.

According to an article on, “According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 24%, while other occupations are growing at 4%. STEM degree holders have a higher income even in non-STEM careers. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, and are a critical component to helping the U.S. win the future. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators.

About iteach

iteach is a competency-based educator preparation program helping to fill the void the nation faces with the unprecedented teacher shortage. iteach enables paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, and others seeking to become teachers to get the affordable, time-saving education they need to become licensed. Their program combines the convenience of online learning with a full year of face-to-face mentorship during a teaching residency. Notably, iteach is the only non-university educator preparation program to achieve accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).


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