THE BEST IN THEIR FIELDS BRINGS THE BEST OUT OF YOU!
so what is our inspiring story?
Project 'DiscoverSTEM' was started in early 2016 after our founder Mirza Faizan, a globally recognized aerospace scientist, was invited to judge at a prestigious international student's innovation competition conducted at NASA Kennedy Space Center visitor's complex. There he noticed that many kids, although presenting good ideas, were lacking a structured thought process required in innovation. Being a serial innovator himself, he was able to quickly identify the reasons behind this lacuna - our education system which is mainly focused on creating 'corporate workers' by teaching student's to memorize and reproduce, with very little emphasis on application, analysis, evaluation, creation and Innovation. To enable student's to think, analyze, evaluate and create, he developed much acclaimed 'Life-Cycle of Innovation', which is a step-by-step process which starts with identification of problem statement and ends with a patent-able solution to these problems.
Since then, our team of middle and high school kids are on innovation and winning streak. Innovating STEM solutions to many world's problems, taking their innovations and winning various innovation competitions at NASA every year since 2016. So far, DiscoverSTEM students have moved several patent applications, won 35 titles at innovation competitions, secured $560K in scholarships and have obtained seats in top US universities.
AND HOW DO WE DO THAT?
DiscoverSTEM team comprises of individuals who are dedicated towards making positive impact on the way our kids learn and grow. Our team includes leading scientists, innovators, motivational speakers, educators, behavioral experts, technologists, corporate leaders and mentors. Here are the brains behind DiscoverSTEM success.
Col. Richard Graham is a SR-71 pilot, author, speaker, aviation consultant, flight instructor and safety team representative with the FAA. After receiving his commission from US Air Force ROTC he entered pilot training at Craig AFB, Alabama. In 1965 he graduated from pilot training and remained at Craig AFB as a T-37 instructor pilot and flight examiner.
Colonel Graham was selected to enter the SR-71 strategic reconnaissance program in 1974. Following Air War College in June of 1982, he was assigned to the Headquarters USAF (Pentagon) to work in Programs and Resources as a strategic force programmer. He was also selected to work in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Installations. As the Director of Program Integration, he worked Air Force budgetary matters closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Air Staff.
Later, Colonel Graham was selected to be the Vice Wing Commander, 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (SRW), Beale AFB, California. He was a command pilot with more than 4,600 military flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 18 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award wtih "V" device and one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. A veteran of 15 years of assignments within the SR-71 community, he is uniquely qualified to tell their story. Col. Graham frequently speaks about the SR-71 program at aviation events across the United States. Read more about Colonel Richard Graham HERE.
Dr. Charles Rodenberger is a top NASA scientist and Professor Emeritus in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. He completed his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering and Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering. Since then, he enjoyed a host of positions both in industrial research and in academia, with senior research positions at Meteoroid Protection Division of NASA, General Motors Defense Research Labs, Southwest Research Institute, Meiller Research Inc., General Dynamics-Fort Worth among other organizations.
Some of Dr. Charles remarkable work was as Head of Hyper-velocity Acceleration Laboratory, wherein he did research for NASA for his invention - 'the hyper-velocity gun'. He is also famously known as a developer of sandwich structural concepts for meteoroid protection of spacecraft for NASA. He is listed in the prestigious 'Who's who in America (1984-85), Who's who in American Education (1965), Who's who in Engineering (1982) among other prestigious awards & honors.
Dr. Junaid Ahmed Zubairi is a world renowned computer scientist with proven record of research and scholarly pursuit. He is famously known as inventor of 'Flight Data Tracker' (US Patent Granted in 2017), an online 'black-box' for aircraft. He received his MS and Ph.D. (Computer Engineering) from Syracuse University, USA. He worked in Space Research Commission as Senior Engineer before joining academia. He experience includes setting up VLSI design lab, designed and established campus network, headed computer science program and designed the complete curriculum for Bachelor in Computer Engineering course. In 1999, he accepted a position in State University of New York at Fredonia where currently he is a full Professor of Computer Science. Dr. Zubairi is a recipient of several grants and awards including Malaysian Government IRPA research award ($62k), NSF MACS grant ($400k), multiple SUNY scholarly incentive awards and AURAK UAE grant. His research interests include network traffic engineering, network protocols
and IoT applications. He has edited two books on network applications and security and has numerous publications including book chapters, journal articles and papers in conference proceedings. He has developed IDFA and TELIC tools for VLSI fault testing and network Traffic Engineering.
M. Sameer Ahmed - Attorney at Law Sameer received a B. S. in Biology from Southern Methodist University and worked in the legal department of Ernst & Young, LLP. He decided to attend law school and earn his J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 1997. After graduating, he moved to the small border town of McAllen, Texas where he began his career as an attorney in 1998 and grew his practice by representing many physicians in their transactional matters.
Sameer then moved back to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex to establish The Ahmed Firm, PLLC and now represent numerous local businesses including hospitals, physician practices, transportation carriers and brokers, engineering groups, construction companies, and real estate developers in various transactional and litigation matters.
FOUNDER & MENTOR
Mirza Faizan is a world renowned aerospace scientist and inventor of Ground Reality Information Processing System (GRIPS), which is an innovative system to prevent runway incursion, runway excursion and detect foreign object and debris on runways in real time. He has vast experience working on aerospace, defense and mission critical systems including missile targeting and tracking systems. For his innovation GRIPS, he was nominated, finalist and awarded various national and international awards likes: ‘Business Leaders of Tomorrow Award-2011’ by Economic Times and Ernst & Young (top 5 in India among 50,000 nominees, evaluated by the Jury panel which includes Innovation Advisor to the Prime Minister of India), ‘Airline Industry Innovation Award – 2013’ (Winner), ‘IHS Jane’s Air Traffic Management Award – 2014’ (shortlisted among top 4 runway safety technologies developed globally) by World Air Traffic Management Congress. His research and algorithm on predicting collision between random particles in semi-controlled environment is highly commended by scientists from NASA, Pentagon-AMRDEC (Army Missile Research, Development & Engineering Center) and US Air Force. His expertise is often sought by global R&D communities. He is nominated and worked as Judge for the prestigious ‘R&D 100 Award’ which is called as ‘Oscar of Invention’. There he evaluated latest innovations from top federal research labs in US, including NASA and other labs across the globe.
In recognition of his remarkable mentoring in STEM and enabling kids to Think, Create and Innovate, he was awarded 'Apollo Science Teaching award 2017' (an award given in honor of NASA's Apollo Mission). He was awarded 'Teacher of the Year-2017' by Conrad Foundation for his team's successive wins at Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge, held every year at NASA Kennedy Space Center. He was also given 'Teacher's Certificate of Recognition' by National Space Society at International Space Development Conference 2018, in recognition of his two teams of middle school students winning 1st prize and Honorable Mention award at NASA Ames Space Settlement Challenge 2018. Faizan is also keenly interested in Psychology and possesses a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a special interest in child learning and development. For his contributions to the global aerospace and defense industry, Faizan was granted permanent residency in the United States under the ‘Alien of Extraordinary Ability’ category, also known as Einstein visa, a category normally reserved for Noble Laureates or top scientists.
Mirza Rizwan is a Management academic and consultant with a research interest in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Competitiveness, and Sustainability. He has been invited as speaker regularly to various forums and institutions like Academic Staff Colleges of India, Aligarh Muslim University, and various other colleges. His training module on ‘Design Thinking’ for Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Teachers has been in great demand among the academic circle and business incubators.
He has been nominated as a judge for the R&D100 Award (also known as ‘Oscars of Invention’) consecutively from the last 2 years under the market disruptor category and has evaluated research outcomes of various NASA and US Department of Energy labs. He has also been invited as judge to ‘Hult Prize’ popularly known as ‘Nobel Prize of the students’, which runs under the guidance of Bill Clinton, Ex-President of the United States, and Mohammad Yunus, the Noble Laureate. Rizwan has also worked as Chief Innovation Officer to a large multinational corporation based out of Bangalore, India, and as an academic excellence consultant to various universities in India.
Jamia Millia University proposed Rizwan as their CEO for Government of India’s ‘Tinkering Innovation Lab’ in their campus. Rizwan has an MBA in Finance, Advanced MBA from IIM-Bangalore & HEC-Paris. He is currently completing his Ph.D with research interest in Innovation & Sustainability.