Three children working together on a project,all wearing blindfolds
Discovery In The Dark Logo

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are growing fields that require curiosity, creativity, problem solving, intellectual agility, and—perhaps most importantly—strong teamwork. Yet the general lack of diversity in STEM fields inhibits the range of ideas at play, slowing down solutions to critical global challenges and diminishing teams’ overall value. Efforts to change the status are confounded by both hiring and retention issues; the barriers may not be intentional or overt, but they often come down to preconceptions about what a scientist looks like, or what someone’s appearance or identity says about their intelligence and work ethics. And the effects are all too real and deeply felt. 

STEM in the Dark provides a new approach. Blindfolded participants tackle hands-on challenges as a group, working together through meaningful conversation and collaboration without visual cues or distractions. Ultimately, the group journeys to a place of trust and respect through improved, authentic working relationships. When every voice has equal weight, true innovation is born—and the results reach far beyond the activity.  
• Collaborator Spotlight


Mona Minkara
Mona Minkara‘s mantra, “vision is more than sight,” has been a key motivation throughout her career and her life. An Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Northeastern University, Mona lost her vision at a young age due to macular degeneration and cone-rod dystrophy, like her younger sister Sara. Mona’s passion for science and her confidence that she could—and would—one day become a scientist was borne out when she earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 2015. Before joining the Northeastern faculty, Mona was a member of the J. Ilja Siepmann Research Group at the University of Minnesota. She is a recent National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Holman Prize winner, and recipient of the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicines. 

Learn more about Mona’s work at and Her recent project “Planes, Trains, and Canes” is archived at 
• Contact
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