Raja Schaar, IDSA
Associate Professor, Drexel University
Raja Schaar, MAAE, IDSA is an assistant professor and program director of product design at Drexel University. She is an industrial designer and STEAM education evangelist. She also is an active museum exhibition designer working with community organizations, National Parks, and museums all over the country.
Schaar’s interdisciplinary research focuses on methods engaging girls and underrepresented minorities in STEM/STEAM through design and technology; innovation and entrepreneurship education; healthcare wearables; and biologically inspired design. Her current research collaborations include working with departments of dance, education and computing to uncover STEAM identities in African American girls through the development of performance-driven wearable technology; developing pedagogy with Drexel University’s Schools of Biomedical Engineering and Entrepreneurship to examine the role of clinical immersion on product innovation; and working with the College of Nursing to develop a pre-diagnostic wearable device for pre-eclampsia in low-resource communities.
As an educator, Schaar works to infuse her teaching with human-centered design methodologies that address real-world problems. Schaar pushes her students to apply design thinking, making and life cycle analysis to the development of devices and products that positively and sustainably impact the lives of users. She also coordinates industry partnerships and sponsored studios with companies like Devialet and Hubbell.
Her approach is fueled by 15+ years of experience as an industrial designer and university design instructor. Previously, she taught at Georgia Tech in both the Colleges of Design and Engineering. Favorite course topics include global healthcare, wearable technology, impact design and biologically-inspired design.
Schaar also has served as coordinator of school programs at the High Museum of Art; director of programs and operations at Museum of Design Atlanta; and design instructor of the Georgia Governor’s Honors program. She’s developed and led numerous ID summer camps to nurture an early interest in design. Schaar speaks on ID, design and STEAM education at conferences and workshops all across United States, including at TEDx.
Schaar received her BSID from GA Tech and her MA in art education from the School of Art Institute of Chicago.
Balancing the Creative Equation: Harnessing the Power of Industrial Design in STEM
August 25, 2023
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Join us as we dive into the dynamic relationship between design education and STEM, showcasing their inseparable bond in fostering innovation. We'll challenge traditional notions by celebrating design as an essential pillar of STEM, proving that advancements arise when analytical thinking and creativity intertwine. Our esteemed panelists hail from top institutions recognized for their cutting-edge design programs, where they embrace interdisciplinary approaches and nurture fruitful collaborations between design, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Prepare to be inspired as they share invaluable insights on cultivating creativity within STEM, propelling imaginative curricula, and championing the recognition of design's potential to drive progress in science and technology while enhancing user experiences. We'll reveal how industrial design is vital to breaking barriers in traditional STEM education and opening new avenues for inclusive and holistic problem-solving in today's world. Take advantage of this transformative discussion that will empower you to redefine the boundaries of design and STEM, paving the way for a future where innovation knows no limits.