©2019 by Lotus STEMM

Join Lotus STEMM for the first ever Degrees of Success conference

A day of fun-filled learning on how to succeed in Science, Tech, Engineering, Math & Medicine (STEMM) catered for you and your daughters.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Brampton City Hall

What can I expect?

Parents, Teachers & High School Students

Degrees of Success is aimed at parents and youth alike. Expect to hear from esteemed speakers and panelists talking about how their South Asian culture has paved their career paths and shaped their experiences in STEM, including a keynote address and Q&A by the prestigious Dr. Ananya Tina Banerjee. Additionally, attend workshops on financial planning for postsecondary education, and your implicit biases. Appropriate for parents, teachers and senior high school students.

Line up of speakers and panelists: 

  • (Keynote) Dr. Ananya Tina Banerjee, Assistant Professor in the Divisions of Social & Behaviour Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

  • Ms. Prieeyya Kaur Kesh, Founder & CEO of Our Wave Hub.

  • Ms. Kamala Kruse, Professor and Academic Program Coordinator at Mohawk College

  • Ms. Arushi Nath, Co-founder of HotPopRobot.com 

  • Ms. Riya Karumanchi, Founder & CEO of SmartCane

Youth STEM Outreach

Girls (ages 10-15) will rotate between fun hands-on activities provided by Indus Space Inc., Mining Matters, and Canadian Association of Girls in Science, learning from professional scientists and engineers. They will learn about space science, Earth sciences, chemistry and biology!

With a Parents vs Kids STEM competition , there is something for everyone! And prizes to be won! 

Our networking session at the end allows you one-on-one with South Asian women in tech and health research. Be sure to get your ticket for the raffle draw to win a prize!

Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and refreshments will be provided. 



Attendees 16 and over

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Registration & Breakfast

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM Land Acknowledgement

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Keynote Address

11:00 AM - 11:10 AM Break

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM Workshop 1

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Family Workshop

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Workshop 2

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM Break

3:15 PM - 4:15 PM Career Panel

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM Posters & Networking, Raffle Announcement, Closing Remarks

Attendees under 16

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Registration & Breakfast

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM Ice Breaker Activity

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM STEMM Activity 1

11:00 AM - 11:10 AM Break

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM STEMM Activity 2

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Family Workshop

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM STEMM Activity 3

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM Break

3:15 PM - 4:15 PM STEMM Activity 4

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM Posters & Networking, Raffle Announcement, Closing Remarks


Esteemed Speakers and Partners

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ananya Tina Banerjee is Assistant Professor in the Divisions of Social & Behaviour Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She also is the Interim Program Director for the MPH –Health Promotion program. Her public health research on diabetes prevention for South Asian communities exemplifies a commitment to providing a strong foundation in mixed-methods guided by principles of the socio-ecological framework, anti-oppression, intersectionality, community partnerships and cultural safety. She launched and offers the first course on “Race, Ethnicity, And Culture and Health” for graduate students at the University of Toronto. She is also trained in Indian classical music and loves travelling rural areas of the world.

Workshop 2

As a little girl, I remember the excitement I felt whenever a teacher needed volunteers to carry boxes. As always, I would be the first to raise my hand, only to feel disappointed when the teacher chose all male volunteers. I also recall hearing phrases like "Man up!" and "Sit like a lady!" These are just a few examples of the gender stereotypes we are taught at such a young age. These experiences made me feel incapable as a little girl, and I do not want any other student to feel the same way.

Over the course of time, Unlabelled. became a local movement. Unlabelled. Workshops expanded to schools across the Peel District School Board. We started noticing others breaking social norms as well, such as females carrying menstrual products openly in the hallway, rather than hiding them in their pockets. It’s these little changes that make me feel like we’re one step closer to becoming Unlabelled. 

Through Unlabelled. workshops, we wish to make schools safe places for students to feel comfortable having conversations that are normally avoided due to social pressures. It’s important that we realize schools are where we are raising our future society; we must make sure they are equitable places. We have a lot of work to do! 

Career Panel

Prieeyya Kaur Kesh is the Founder & CEO of Our Wave Hub.

OurWave is a Toronto based startup that is working to develop talent for the future of work. OurWave’s approach is to develop a challenge-based personalized learning pathway for students at the high school and undergraduate levels. The program participants solve 3 real-world challenges during their time in the program using either artificial intelligence or robotics. The program also include soft skills training, exposure to entrepreneurship as a career, and leadership development training.

In addition to student-focused programs, OurWave has developed introductory level Bootcamp courses for mid-career workers focused on technologies like Blockchain, Quantum Computing and Augmented Reality.

Prieeyya has also previously worked with the UNHCR, LAB B, the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), and the Sikh Heritage Month Foundation before starting Our Wave Hub. Past clients include Ryerson University, Sheridan College, IBM, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and the City of Brampton.

Prieeyya is an accomplished musician, vocalist and Indian Classical Dancer. She plays the piano, violin, sitar, the bongos and an ancient Sikh instrument called the Taus that resembles a peacock. She has been trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani genres of vocal training, and has over 10 years of dance training in styles like Kathak and Odissi. She represented Canada at the World Pipe Band Championships as a Grade 1 Tenor Drummer in the Peel Regional Police Pipe Band. Her love and admiration for Scottish music and culture was cultivated during her role with the Sri Dasmesh Pipe Band ( A Malaysian Sikh Pipe Band ) where she served as lead musical theory instructor for 6 years. Prieeyya also holds a Black Belt in Taekwondo.

A creative and curious spirit at heart, Prieeyya is someone who enjoys building solutions that push society forward.

Kamala Kruse is a professor at Mohawk College in the School of Engineering Technology and an internally elected faculty governor on the college’s Board of Governors.  As the academic program coordinator, she also coordinates the program of studies for the Chemical Engineering Technology, Environmental Technician, and Pre Technology programs.

She has a Bachelors in Chemistry from the University of California at Davis and a Masters in Chemistry from the University of California at San Diego. She joined Mohawk College in 2005 after a career in the pharmaceutical industry as a bioanalytical scientist. She worked on small molecule pharmacology optimization at biotechnology pioneer Genentech in South San Francisco. She joined Affinium pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology start-up in Toronto, in 2002 where she set up LC/MS/MS bioanalytical capabilities for structure aided drug design projects.

Kamala is passionate about encouraging young women and men in careers in science and technology. She currently serves as the faculty advisor for the departmental student club that organizes various activities throughout the year and especially during the National Engineering Month.

Arushi Nath is the Co-Founder of HotPopRobot.com

I am 10 years old and study in Grade 5.  I have been making science and space projects for the last 5 years. I especially like to make projects that mix science, arts, and music. I can code using Arduino, Micro:Bit and Python. Some of the projects I have made include the Canada Arm, the Trappist-1 Exoplanetary Model, Make an Astronaut Smile (MARS) Robot, KiloNova Battle Bot, the Dragonfly Bot and many others. My project "YES I CAN" won the Canadian Space Apps Challenge 2017 and I was invited to present my project at the Canadian Space Agency and to meet the new astronauts. I also won the 2017 Jesse Ketchum Award for my Solar-X project to measure Total Solar Eclipse and 2019 Imagining the Skies Award of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.


My projects have been displayed at Maker Festival Toronto, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto International Film Festival, MakerExpo, Science Rendezvous, and MakerFest (Delhi). They have appeared on TVO Kids, The Star, and the Breakfast TV Toronto.


I have participated in over 30 hackathons and my favorite one is the NASA SpaceApps Challenge held every year. I won the NASA SpaceApps Toronto in 2018 and 2019.  I believe the best way to learn new things is to make projects and then teach others how to do them. This was one of the reasons to start HotPopRobot.com to bring projects on space and science to the Next Generation.    


I am bilingual in French and English.

Riya Karumanchi is a 16-year-old student from Toronto, Ontario. She is an entrepreneur and CEO of SmartCane and is extremely passionate about harnessing technology to better people’s lives. Riya is an Innovator at The Knowledge Society, an avid ML developer & is recognized as one of the Top 20 Teen Entrepreneurs Worldwide. She’s also very honoured to be on Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 & to be featured on Time Magazine's list for young inventors changing the world. Throughout her journey, companies like Google, Deloitte, Microsoft, the DMZ and TD have been supporting her. She has been speaking at conferences worldwide as an enormous advocate and champion for women and girls in STEM & Health-tech Innovation, and speaks to many to inspire them to pursue their interests and develop innovations in the space.


Thank you to our outreach partners

For more than 25 years, Mining Matters has been educating young people to develop knowledge and awareness of Earth sciences, the minerals industry, and their roles in society.  As part of the Degrees of Success Conference, Mining Matters will highlight Earth Sciences through a series of hands on learning activities that focus on rocks, minerals, metals, and mining, and varied careers available in this interesting and important STEM field.

Indus Space is focussed on bringing the role of space exploration and related sectors within STEM to the forefront. The activities will be hands on and will participants to get a direct introduction to this sector.