Highlights from Lumity’s 2021 Annual Benefit & STEM Fair: So much to love!

Zoom fatigue be darned! We are so proud of Lumity students, staff, and supporters who came together virtually for the 2021 Lumity Annual Benefit & STEM Fair on March 11th. There was so much to love about the evening, we don’t know where to start. Here’s a quick list in no specific order!

Our generous sponsors. The Lumity STEM Fair doesn’t happen without the generosity of our sponsors. They all deserve a special shout-out: Avantor Foundation, CDW, Karen Manilow, Accenture, Allstate, Ferrara, USG, Creospan, Cathie & Jack Kozik, Clarity Partners, and Saggazza. And a big thank you to CDW for donating iPads with WiFi and to Michelle & James Green for donating laptops to each member of the finalist teams. The students were so excited, they were falling out of their chairs!

Our 250+ Benefit participants. More than 250 STEM professionals joined us to cheer on the student teams via chat and raise their paddles to give. We’ve never had as much fun on a meeting chat as we did during the STEM Fair!

All the Lumity STEM Career Prep student teams—of course! In a school year like no other, Lumity students showed up, rolled up their sleeves, and got to work. Smart STEM solutions abounded from the student teams from Chicago Public School partners: Amundsen, Chicago Vocational Career Academy, and Von Steuben high schools and Thornton School District 205 partners, Thornridge and Thornwood high schools.  It really was a tough decision picking the finalist teams. Take a peek at their ideas to see why.

Our judges. The STEM Fair was fun and informative! Participants certainly learned something new from our student teams and, in turn, students gained from the terrific feedback from our judges Lumity Board Chair Steve Betts, Kris DiGirolamo- Deputy Chief Ethics, Compliance, and Privacy Officer at Allstate, Dr. Vicki Robinson, Program Manager at the US Dept. of Education and Sreelatha Surendranathan- Chief Digital Officer at UL.

Our cohosts. There was never a dull second during the Fair thanks to Chicago’s own Richard Laible and his straight man (and our Board Chair) Steve Betts.

Our special guests. Our special guests Senator Dick Durbin and Chicago Beyond’s Liz Dozier once again inspired us with their commitment to Chicagoland youth.

And more special guests: Our STEMWorks graduates! And, speaking of inspiring, Lumity’s own Cortorian Causey and Jaquisha Carr shared their STEM career journey that began in our STEMWorks program.

Lumity staff and school partners. None of this is possible without Lumity staff and our school partners who make sure the Real World Project experiences are relevant, rigorous and engaging for students.

The runners-up Team Cyber Cops. Team Cyber Cops took on the challenge of cyberbullying with a clever app that helps teens and youth police their own online and texting behavior.

And the STEM Fair winners–Team WCKD. Team WCKD designed a unique mechanical, solar-powered entry system to improve walkway and building accessibility. The system converts between stairs and ramps with a press of a button and self-heats to melt snow and ice.

We could go on and on! A big thank you to all involved. And, if you missed the STEM Fair, you can still join us!