Sandhya (left) and Swapna (right) Mylabathula, are both pursuing PhDs at U of T

STEAM Sisters win 2021 Youth Media Alliance Award of Excellence

The University of Toronto’s Sandhya and Swapna Mylabathula, creators of a YouTube show called STEAM Stars, which celebrates women in science, technology, engineering, art and math, have been recognized with a 2021 Youth Media Alliance Award of Excellence.

Known as the STEAM Sisters, the twins won the award for best program, short form, for an episode of their show featuring Jenni Sidey-Gibbons, an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency.

“It is such an amazing honour to get this award,” said Sandhya, a PhD student at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. “It is also really meaningful to see that STEAM-specific content is being recognized, especially since this one was focused on featuring diverse women in STEAM careers, because it really is so important for under-represented groups to see themselves in these positions.”

Before the pandemic, the sisters were able to film the show on various locations in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. They now use the show to do some of their STEAM outreach.

“It is very rewarding to hear the wonderful feedback from students,” says Swapna, a PhD student in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. “They often say that they find it inspiring and feel motivated to explore the various fields featured.”

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