STEMATIX — A STEM Focussed Student-Run Magazine
Santa Clara High School student Saurav Gandhi saw a missing niche in the Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) industry and lept at the opportunity to increase youth engagement in the field using his passion for journalism.
Gandi says that as a child, he loved building LEGO projects as much as he enjoyed reading. He was also passionate about engineering and poetry and strived to find a way to combine the two. It wasn’t until he joined the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) at Cabrillo mIddle School that he realized he could merge his love for writing and the sciences.
“At 49ers SLI, I began to dive deep into learning a variety of STEM skills,” said Gandhi. “However, I started to miss writing and reading. I looked for a way to integrate STEM and writing and eventually found a solution: a student-run magazine dedicated to STEM.” — And this is how STEMATIX was born.
STEMATIX is an innovative magazine providing a platform for the global youth community to voice insights and opinions regarding STEM topics that shape today’s society. With a name inspired by Gandi’s favorite comic, Asterix, STEMATIX is a 100% student-run STEM magazine for the students and by the students. Gandi started out working with 11 of his friends to write articles that were published through Google Slides. From here, the team began growing the magazine and became more ambitious in their plans. Gandhi reached out to STEM organizations across the world and received enthused responses from Chile to Cameroon asking to join. By the seventh issue, STEMATIX had assembled over 200 student contributors from more than 30 countries and over 40 regions across the globe.
"This publication is a testament to the students' collective curiosity, initiative, determination, collaboration, and innovation,” said science teacher Suzanne Miller Moddy. “As you read, I hope you not only learn more about this novel Coronavirus than you did before, but you are awe-struck at the passion these students have shown as they strive to make sense of their world."
Gandhi is responsible for managing the team’s international community and in collaboration with the directing team at Santa Clara High School, works hard to release three magazine issues a year. STEMATIX has contributors and partners around the world, but the magazine itself is managed, edited, designed, and compiled by Santa Clara Unified students from Santa Clara High and Cabrillo Middle.
When we asked Gandhi why he established the magazine he explained that “Currently, no organization exists that focuses on increasing youth STEM engagement through journalism. Being able to communicate STEM with the broader community is extremely critical, and journalism is the perfect way to practice that skill. STEMATIX allows students to express themselves and improve how they communicate STEM as well as enhance their knowledge in a variety of STEM subjects.”
In light of COVID-19, the magazine’s network of global contributors came together to publish two issues of STEMATIX. In this double issue, the team methodically covers the lifecycle of the Coronavirus pandemic in five sections: outbreak, transmission, response, protection, and culture. This "double issue" offers a vast array of articles, interviews, art, and infographics from our network of over 200 youth STEM journalists around the world.
"I am proud and amazed that this group of contributors has captured and considered so many crucial aspects of the crisis we are facing,” said math teacher Tracy McClennan. “Such thoughtful consideration of the issues shows that our collective future is in good hands."
“Many consider teenagers not to be capable of contributing to the COVID-19 response,” said Gandhi. “However, that notion holds little truth. While being stuck at home, our global network of contributors has tirelessly sought to understand the virus in all its complexity, and then share their understandings with others. They have identified, researched, analyzed, and curated 50 plus articles highlighting different aspects of how our world is responding and protecting humankind from the Coronavirus. Our first COVID-19 issue included a heart-felt piece by a doctor who contracted Coronavirus. Our local mayor wrote the opening note for our second Coronavirus issue. The COVID-19 issues of STEMATIX revealed that integrating STEM and writing is extremely relevant to our current situation.
You can check out the magazines for yourself at www.issuu.com/stematix. Each issue focuses on a single STEM topic through interviews, projects, articles, and more.
Want to get involved? The STEMATIX team is always looking for new student contributors so submit your interest online.