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Staff Directory - Erika Allison

Erika AllisonErika Allison
Project Director
Maine Physical Sciences Partnership
Maine Elementary Sciences Partnership
at the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Ctr)

Office: 108 Estabrooke Hall
(207) 581-4674


  • BS  Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
  • MST Adolescent Education, Pace University, New York, NY


After completing a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UT Austin, Erika worked for 4 years with the Dow Chemical Company in Michigan and Chicago.  She left the corporate world for a career in STEM education, and joined the New York City Teaching Fellows program to teach physics and math at The Young Women’s Leadership School, an all-girls public inner-city 6-12 school in East Harlem.  As a teacher, she started a Girls in Engineering club, coached an all-girls robotics team, and mentored a team of female scientists to a 1st place finish in the Young Science Achievers program for their work evaluating solar panels.  She won a ConEdison Teacher’s Challenge Award from the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) and a STEM Innovation Grant from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) for her work engaging minorities in hands-on science and engineering.  After leaving the classroom, Erika founded the New York City branch of Iridescent, a California-based engineering education non-profit.  In her role as Executive Director of Iridescent NYC, she led the Technovation Challenge program, teaching underserved high school girls to invent and code mobile apps, and pitch their apps to venture capitalists.  She won a grant from the MacArthur Foundation to support two co-ed spin-offs of this program.  She also taught a course at The Cooper Union called Engineers as Teachers that trained undergraduate engineering majors to design and teach hands-on, inquiry-based science courses to underserved children and their families.  Finally, she helped launch the opening of Iridescent’s hands-on science studio in the South Bronx, featuring a keynote address from the US Secretary of the Navy to a crowd of 1200 science-hungry children.

Erika’s mission is to encourage youth, especially girls and underserved populations, to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.


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