Competition: Site Evolution

Enter your idea for improving the STEM-Away platform. This is an individual level competition.

We have a first entry from @Sarahrp. As some of you know, the Bioinformatics session has been extended by 3 weeks. This pushes the July session out by the same amount. We were discussing this in the chat session last Friday and Sarah came up with an idea that will help the July teams.

We are working on an extension/ modification of that idea for all July pathways.

One thing I would like changed about the website is the fact that you have to rate the post after you “like” it. I think it would be more engaging if it had the widgets similar to what LinkedIn has where you can mark a post as “curios”, “insightful”, etc.

Another idea I had is if a place could be constructed where all students could communicate and get to know each other. I know I’m part of the Bioinformatics team, but I’d like to get to know students from the other teams as well!

Lastly, (I know I’m shooting for the stars here) it would be awesome if there was a STEM-Away app!

I hope these suggestions help. There is a lot of potential for STEM-Away to be huge!!


Hi everyone, the link below is to a spreadsheet with my suggestion for the BI Pathway Session 2.
At first glance, one could simply delay Session 2 by 3 weeks but this would result in some applicants being forced to pull out due to school/study commitments in late August.
My suggestion accommodates an overlap of the two sessions, please let me know what you think!
Potential BI Pathway Timeline

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@AlexG5353: Suggestions are great! And we have all three on our roadmap!!
I am creating a separate entry for each of your suggestions. If you have any further ideas on these areas, you can enter them there.

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@ddas @AlexG5353

Discourse has its own mobile app called Discourse Hub. I’ve been using it for STEM-Away on mobile and while it is kind of clunky, it is still much better to use with the forums than mobile browsers.

Are you talking about Discord? I love Discord lol. I’ve been talking to a lot of students and they’d like to have everything on one website.

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No. Discourse is the open source software that we used to make our STEM-Away forum. Discourse has an app called Discourse Hub that can be used to view any discourse-based website from your phone.

Yeah, I used it for a while some time back. Nowadays, I am mostly on my computer.
@shreyas: Do you think it is good enough or an app should still be on the roadmap?

While an app would be nice, I’m not sure if we would gain any extra functionality compared to the Discourse app for viewing and using the forums. However, if we could potentially use the STEM-Away app for something more than forums it would be a good option.

My Entry for Site Evolution:
I think adding everyone’s calendars to the profile section might help scheduling meetings across time zones. Everyone could also add in their available timings into it, so it’s easier for whoever is planning the meeting to incorporate a convenient time for the majority, and also reach out to the ones who aren’t available and discuss possible scenarios.

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One idea could be to have native Google Calendar integration into the STEM-Away website. I know we already have the calendar feature, but it would work a lot more seamlessly if there was a Google Calendar integration in addition to/instead of that calendar.

Also, we could have widgets that take you to the Asana, GSuite, Slack, etc. for your team!

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An idea that I had to try and mimic a university libraries collaborative atmosphere was to institute active chat rooms that are accessible throughout the day for students to work collaboratively or even just to hangout. This could be implemented by generating some daily meetings on google meet and having a dedicated widget for displaying these meeting “rooms” on the homepage.

Similarly for networking it could become a weekly occurrence in which everyone signs up for a friday or saturday time slot to meet other people in the program. This could be implemented by creating a survey of those interested in such an arrangement and then every week there would be a randomly generated group of 4-5 people that are set up to play an online game or perform an activity that could lead to some discussion for 45mins to an hour or longer if everyone is getting along. They would all be sent an automated email with a google meet link for the time slot and an activity that would be prepared by stemAway. Popular activities/games could be repeated and suggestions could be taken from those participating.

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That’s a great idea. I think having a fun day where everyone can drop in and interact is amazing. This will facilitate inter team interactions. They could choose to play games, talk about diversity, their problems, or the current projects they are working on. This bonding activity will also help build soft skills.

I love the idea @AntonyGeorgiadis!

In addition to @AntonyGeorgiadis’s great idea, we could use Donut, a software that I’ve been using recently on another project that connects two people in a organization randomly so that they can talk to each other in a “virtual coffee chat.” This would integrate really nicely with the current platform and would facilitate some really neat and quite random interactions (ex. A UX lead with a bioinformatics participant) that would help create a STEM-Away community beyond our respective pathways.

Oh that’s awesome! I’m definitely going to try that out soon.

I know this might sound too ambitious, but for now, we are using GSuite, Slack etc, but my idea is to slowly make it all available on the platform itself. The calendar is just a start.
We don’t need mails and chat, we can use direct messages to interact (by enhancing the UI using a chat messenger). A project planning structure incorporated inside here, to facilitate the division of work.

In short make STEM AWAY as self-sustainable as possible.


Building off of what everyone has said, I think it would be really cool for a potential STEM-Away app to have the capability of sending notifications to a user’s phone about upcoming meetings, project deadlines, and more. Additionally, we could have a chat for each team on the app where people could message each other and receive notifications as a replacement for Slack. One less platform for us to deal with in the future!


I love so much your ideas. Lots of fun here
Calendar is a great start as your discussions, we can see the overview of the upcoming events (webinars) and also set up the team meetings, that’s cool

I wanna join some ideas to combine all Asana, Slack, G-suit/Gmail or Github: In the message page, we can synchronize with the mentorchains email to access both calendar and setup meetings functions, those setups will be integrated directly to a calendar, but we can choose to split it into 2 calendars, 1 is for general SA events/webinars/industry mentors…, 1 is private team meeting setup and easily for team to do scheduling.
Those team emails will link directly to teamwork’s flow (Asana function) in assigning the task and start conversations directly there (like Slack), of course in SA platform (all ideas here just get the example from those available platforms). Most of Asana, friends do not discuss anything, but for example, based on Asana, the conversations can add in more functions like Slack: create channels and chats or some functions can be dropped out (just use the List and More functions, for instance). About the assigning task function, friends can attach their work directly on their assigned task which will be stored in the ‘More -> files’ ( on Asana) as Github did (with tracking activities - similar to push and pull in git - and also can be stored as categories/ tools)
We can also have a function to switch the workflow in grid, grand or card or like kanban form. It also supports for a collaboration platform

Hope it helps somehow,