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In memory of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi Lari

It is with incredible sadness that we inform you that Mohammad Hossein Asadi Lari, STEM Fellowship’s co-founder and former Managing Director, and his sister Zeynab, who created STEM Fellowship’s Human Resources team, passed away on Tuesday. Both Mohammad and Zeynab were on Ukranian International Airlines flight PS752, which crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran late Tuesday night. 

Mohammad’s role in helping create and grow our organization cannot be understated. He worked tirelessly to develop the organization’s mission and vision, served as the first Chair of the STEM Fellowship Journal’s Student Editorial Board, expanded the scope of our Big Data challenge, and spearheaded our policy outreach work. Not only was Mohammad a visionary, but he was also a compassionate leader who went above and beyond – fostering a strong community, developing others’ potential, and inspiring them to unite around a common cause with his humanitarian ethos. 


In addition to his role with STEM Fellowship, Mohammad also co-founded the Canadian Association of Physician Innovators and Entrepreneurs, was the pre-health sciences course director for NextGenU, and a published researcher in the fields of nanoscience, neuroscience, and cancer immunology. He led youth engagement initiatives in the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Canadian Red Cross, and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, among many other contributions. Mohammad was an MD/PhD candidate at the University of Toronto; he received an Honours degree in Cellular, Anatomical, and Physiological Sciences from the University of British Columbia. 


Mohammad was a compassionate, driven, intelligent, and inspirational young man whose potential knew no bounds. He was a tireless advocate for human rights, global health, equitable STEM education, meaningful youth engagement, and social innovation. Mohammad was a motivational leader who personified charisma, humanitarianism, and respect. As a friend, he was thoughtful, caring, and truly empathetic. His unique ability to connect people together empowered them to improve themselves and our world. 

Zeynab was a creative, hard-working, committed young leader who made invaluable contributions to STEM Fellowship. She created the Human Resources Department within our organization and effectively developed many policies and procedures that have formed a foundation for our organizational strategy to this day. Driven to create opportunities for her campus community to develop STEM skills, she also founded a STEM Fellowship branch at the University of Toronto Mississauga. In her leadership of the branch, she displayed passion, creativity, and enthusiasm, which were warmly welcomed by her community. She was a patient and encouraging mentor, always willing to lend a hand and support those around her. Much-loved by her branch members and friends, her interest in people was sincere. 


Zeynab was completing an Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto. 


She demonstrated a strong commitment to fostering equity in medicine and global health, increasing community involvement and tackling stigma surrounding mental health. Among her many roles, she served as Mental Health Network Coordinator for the Youth Mental Health Association, a Youth Member at Young Canadians Roundtable on Health, an Executive Board Member at the Iran University of Medical Sciences Medical Student Association for Cancer Research, and previously interned with the World Health Organization


It was an honour for us all to work with Mohammad and Zeynab over the past few years. During their lives, they touched many people with their tireless altruism and advocacy, and with their deep care for the people around them. Their passing is an unimaginable loss for their family, friends and communities they were a part of. May Mohammad and Zeynab rest in peace, and may this tragedy remind us all to value each moment of our lives and to continue to work to further their legacies of positive change.

Commemorating the life of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi Lari

Quotes from the STEM Fellowship Community

In recognition of the lives of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi-Lari, we would like to share a few quotes from members of our STEM Fellowship community who had the pleasure of working closely with Mohammad and Zeynab:

“Mohammad was one of the brightest individuals I’ve met in my life, supportive of every attempt to build a better world, a visionary leader and an inspirational innovator. In memory of Mohammad and Zeynab, let’s never lose the drive to make a positive change! Think GLOBAL, Act LOCAL.”

Aleksei Shkurin

“Mohammad was one of the most compassionate, thoughtful, intelligent and inspiring individuals I have ever met. He lived with unparalleled positivity and empathy, never hesitating to support and uplift those around him. I have always admired Mohammad’s tireless dedication to take action for what he believed in while connecting and empowering others to do the same. When I met Mohammad after joining STEM Fellowship back in 2016, I was amazed by his drive, confidence and commitment to improve his community. Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of witnessing Mohammad’s passion for both our organization as a whole and each of our members as individuals. As I transitioned into the Managing Director role, Mohammad consistently took the time and effort to share with me valuable insights he learned from his time as Managing Director. Mohammad has taught me how to avoid the literal meaning of my title and be a leader rather than a manager, how to seek humbling environments and embrace failure as an opportunity for personal development, how to foster meaningful relationships with those around me, how to ensure sustainability in our team’s efforts and to see life as a marathon and not a sprint, and so much more. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to work with Mohammad and learn from his unique experiences, and truly hope that we can all work to further his legacy of humanitarian ethos, STEM equity and youth engagement.”
Hannah Rahim

“The first time I met Zeynab was during Reading Week when we worked together and lead a team to promote awareness about HIV/AIDS in collaboration with the Peel region. I remember her enthusiasm and determination to ensure that we did our complete best. She was always smiling and was very approachable and made the working environment very pleasant for me and the other team members. She was always ready to help others when they needed help. Not only that, Zeynab was always cheerful during lectures and she was super helpful during and after the lectures and would help you out. I learned more about Zeynab and her achievements when I was interviewed by her for the exec position for the STEM Fellowship club, a club she has been part of for so long. I remember I got a little nervous but she was very calm and allowed me to feel comfortable. I got to know her a little bit more through this club and I can say that it was a pleasure to get to know her and I hope I can carry on her vision for
the STEM club. My condolences for her, and her brother go to her parents who had raised an amazing person, so full of life and passion. May she Rest In Peace.”
Hassan R

“Zeynab was a tremendous team player, loved working with everyone and always looked out for her teammates. We met at an organization meeting that led to us becoming less like friends and more like sisters. She always acknowledged my talents and work ethic which made it an easy choice for her to start mentoring me at STEM Fellowship. My heart is heavy and will never be the same without her in my life.”

Dania Shaeeb

“I first joined SF as an HR Liaison, of which Zeynab was my Director. I was a shy first year student who was trying to become more involved in extracurriculars, so I was fortunate to have a patient, encouraging, and friendly mentor like Zeynab. She loved her HR team and the work that was done, always coming up with new ideas to continuously boost the sense of community within SF. When I was recruited to the Branch Committee and had to leave HR, she remained a mentor and friend of mine and supported me throughout. She genuinely brought out the best in others and I thank her for giving me an incredible introduction to SF. Mohammad was a figure in the SF community everyone could look up to. Once I became Associate Director of Branches, I had the fortune of working closely with Mohammad, and I came to realize that he was one of the kindest people I knew and one of the strongest leaders I have ever met who truly loved his work and the people he worked with – it was a trait I have come to admire and look up to. I remember being nervous at my first few SC meetings, but Mohammad always made me feel important and took the time to listen and support my ideas and those of my peers, which instilled a sense of calm in myself, and I’m sure for everyone else.”

Natasha Ilincic

“Zeynab was one of the most hardworking, dedicated and strongest people I had the pleasure of meeting. The first time I met Zeynab was during my STEM Fellowship interview, and from then on, we kept in contact. She was like a mentor to me giving me advice on upper year courses, taking the MCAT and life in general. She was a great president and one that was always attentive to the needs of all the members and always valued the inputs and opinions of everyone. Zeynab is one of my role models, she did so much for the community and left a mark everywhere she went, and it was a pleasure knowing and working with her.”

Maryama M

“Mohammad and I met at a leadership conference 2 years ago and connected immediately based off of our shared commitment and passion for philanthropy and academia. After getting to know each other, I became an executive of STEM Fellowship given our shared belief of “thinking global but acting local”. He was one of the smartest, kindest, and genuine people I know and was so full of potential. His impact reached hundreds of thousands not just across the country, but across the world. It is an honor to have known him in many different respects over the last 2 years; as mentor, colleague, and most of all, a close friend. His death is incredibly tragic and my condolences go out to his family and anyone who was lucky enough to have known this incredible individual.”

Mohit Sodhi

“Zeynab was one of the most dedicated and hardworking people I’ve met. Not only was she a bright student, but she was a bright person as well. She was an honour to be friends with and work with. I first met her during my interview for a position at STEM Fellowship and instantly I knew that I would have the best president. Ever since then, all of our experiences together has been so much fun and filled with lots of laughter, light and passion. Often she would give me advice on school and life which I really valued and followed. She was the ideal leader and always let us take charge instead of her telling us
what to do. A large part of our team is gone and incomplete without her. I will always hold on to our memories and I will keep working hard to honour her legacy.”

Pooja D

“Zeynab was an amazing student, but more than that, an amazing person and friend. The first day I met Zeynab was when she was interviewing me for our STEM Fellowship Club, and we really got along as we both knew Farsi. She was a very sweet and a smart person, and despite knowing her for a short while, I have learned many things from her. She was a hardworking and focused girl who wanted to help people, and she had accomplished many things at such a young age. Zeynab was truly an inspiration and had left an impact on everyone. I am so glad that I have had the chance to meet Zeynab in my life!”

Saliha S

“Mohammad Asadi Lari was a cherished mentor of mine. He achieved so much at such a young age with unmatched passion for his local and global community. Despite being the busy body he was he always took the time to help out his friends/peers. The opportunities he afforded me changed the way I think about education, health and community. Only a couple of months ago he took the time to help me with medical school application, despite his own hefty medical school schedule. I am just but one of countless friends and colleagues his leadership benefited. Death is always a tragic event, but it feels especially tragic occurring to those so young, with so much passion and potential. Rest in peace Mohammad and Zeynab.”

Tristan Wild

“Mohammad was a great inspiration, colleague, personal mentor and above all, a friend, who influenced my life greatly since our first STEM Fellowship meeting in 2016. It has been an amazing journey serving on STEM Fellowship’s executive team and I would not have had this opportunity had Mohammad not given me the chance and believed in me as a Grade 10 student, to be apart of this amazing organization he led. Through his guidance and encouragement, I become a stronger student leader to better serve my community. An empowering leader in advocating for accessible STEM education, global health, and community engagement, I highly admired how Mohammad made a difference in the lives of many through remarkable dedication and passion in numerous non-profits. During the rough times in my life, he was always supportive and just a message away. I am absolutely honoured, lucky, and forever grateful to have worked with him in bringing STEM education to youths across Canada and the world.”

Vicky Chang

Newsletter Issue October

Newsletter Issue #2 Oct. 2018
Welcome to STEM Fellowship’s Monthly Newsletter!

This October issue will include:
→ Featured Opportunity – The Rabbit Hole of Knowledge
→ Update from the Managing Director, Mohammad Asadi Lari

→ Announcements from National Outreach, Data Science, STEM Fellowship Journal
→ Digital Science Blog Series

Featured Opportunity! The Rabbit Hole of Knowledge
SF’s Executive Director and SF Journal Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Sacha Noukhovitch developed a new personalized learning and science communication tool, along with his former students called the Rabbit Hole of Knowledge.

This tool helps establish preliminary understanding of scientific findings or research topics and motivates further learning. It complements traditional course-based education and provides a much sought-after, inquiry-based learning environment where teaching is delivered to answer questions and fill gaps in knowledge that students seek. It is also a way to revitalize the academic library experience and to cultivate reader interest in specific scholarly publications.

Check it out here!
Managing Director Updates from Mohammad Asadi Lari
STEM Fellowship submitted applications to major grants for Big Data and SciComm to NSERC’s PromoScience program this last week!

Mohammad spoke at TEDxYouth@WestVancouver on September 22, on the topic of inspiring local youths by sharing their philanthropic, innovative, and entrepreneurial ventures, and their impact on the world.

If you would like to read more about the TEDxYouth Talks and learn more about our Managing Director and other inspirational youth in our community, check it out in the link below.

TEDxYouth@WestVancouver Series Talk
Announcements from Directors

National Outreach Team

Currently, the Outreach team is focusing on identifying strategic partners within the community, such as Google and Hack the North! They hope to funnel sponsors and participants from these initiatives into our programs – particularly the Big Data Challenge.

Ambassadors are also an integral part of the Outreach team. They set provincial tasks and goals, planning events such as workshops and promotional materials.

The ambassador application is always open to students in BC, Alberta, and Ontario!

Apply here!
Big Data Challenge

This year’s theme, “Big Data de Terre,” focuses on the exploratory analysis of open data from NASA, the CSA and EDA, inviting you to produce descriptive and graphical summaries of data with the goal of revealing the impact of environmental condition on human health and well-being.

Dive further into predictive analytics of optimal environmental characteristics for long-term, long-distance space travel.

Check out our website for more info!
Register for the Toronto/ Online Orientation Session here:

Register for the Calgary Orientation Session here:

Register for the Big Data Challenge here:

If you have any questions, email us at:
Registration ends October 20th, 2018!

Data Science

As STEM Fellowship’s 2019 High School BDC is approaching, take a look at what makes this event different from other opportunities!

  1. Students have the opportunity to have their work published in the STEM Fellowship Journal (SFJ)! Finalists have their full manuscripts published in the SFJ while participants have their abstracts published.
  2. Students have the chance to engage in self-directed learning through trial-and-error.
  3. The competition is remote, meaning that students anywhere can participate in the Challenge as long as they have Internet access.
  4. Unlike with most Hackathons, we offer the chance for finalists to utilize their communication skills through a presentation component delivered to a panel of judges.
  5. The high school Big Data Challenge is scaled at either the national or international level, allowing students the chance to interact with mentors and students from different parts of the world, allowing for the intake of academic knowledge which may currently be restricted to certain cultures.

We are always looking for help with our workshops. You’re encouraged to contact if you are well-versed in R, Python, or SAS!

STEM Fellowship Journal

We are now looking for a Type-Setter for our student-run, Canadian Science Publishing backed journal.

As a Type-Setter, you would be responsible for ensuring the manuscript meets the structure and layout of the journal. While there are no skills or credentials required for this position, it is ideal if you have experience using Adobe Indesign and have access to it on your personal computer or through a university.

Interested applicants should contact Jayneel Limbachia, the Director of the STEM Fellowship Journal at

Science Communications

The Science Communications team works to inform the public, as well as members of STEM Fellowship about the initiatives and events this organization works on, thus encouraging transparency and sharing our accomplishments amongst everyone involved in the STEM community! Aside from working to create the SF Journal, Scholarly Writing Challenge, and Scholarly Writing Workshops, they often collaborate with the Partnerships team.

Additional Opportunities!

Digital Science Founders Blog

Digital Science kickstarted a new recurring blog series called #FoundersFridays. Here, several founders of scholarly communication businesses and ventures are interviewed where they share their insight into their background, their advice and tips for others, and what the industry looks like as a while.

Have an interest in knowing more about scholarly communication?

Check out the blogs here!
Closing Note

The STEM Fellowship newsletter is produced by the Newsletter Team under the Marketing and Memberships Committees.

Questions? Ideas for future newsletters?
Connect with us at:

Copyright © *|2018|* *|STEM Fellowship|*, All rights reserved.

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2018 Scholarly Writing Challenge

STEM Fellowship’s 2018 Scholarly Writing Challenge is now underway. The purpose of this challenge is to inspire high school students to prepare themselves for a future of research and science publishing.


The Scholarly Writing Challenge is open to all high school students in grades 10, 11 and 12 inside and outside of Canada. Entries will be judged based on creativity, clarity, and organisation of the work presented. There are five categories students can submit to: Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Mathematics, Environmental Sciences and Literature Reviews. A $500 prize will be awarded to the best submissions and four certificates for best in the categories of Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Mathematics, Environmental Sciences, and Literature Review as well as annual subscriptions to select journals.


Additional details and rules for the challenge can be found on the STEM Scholarly Writing Challenge site:


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Digital Science to Sponsor STEM Fellowship Big Data Challenge; Is this the dawn of a new way of learning?

Kaylin Xu – VANCOUVER, BC – Nov. 5, 2017 – As STEM Fellowship’s Big Data Challenge goes into its third year and acquires Digital Science and two of its portfolio companies, Altmetric and Overleaf, as sponsors, information technology jobs rise in demand across North America. The Government of Canada’s Career Outlook Reports give computer programming and interactive media developing jobs a 3/3 star rating in British Columbia alone. To commemorate the acquirement of three new sponsors for its Big Data Challenge, STEM Fellowship is challenging students to consider a new way of learning that is inquiry-based to adapt to the rapidly more technology-based future.

For this year’s Big Data Challenge, the theme is “Using impact data to understand and predict the future directions of science”. Competing teams are challenged to extract information from scientific publication attention data provided by Altmetric, collating and presenting insights into the future direction of science. To help manage and write their projects, students will have access to cloud-based collaborative writing tool, Overleaf.

Dr. Sacha Noukhovitch, the founder and Executive director of STEM Fellowship, explains:

The STEM Fellowship Big Data Challenge is a unique learning experiment that is focused on the development of the new generation of students’ natural data analysis talents. Traditional subject-specific and instruction-based learning do not meet the expectations of the industry and – more importantly – do not fit the new generation of student learning styles. The Challenge is, therefore, a pedagogical pilot, testing new forms of cross-disciplinary big data-based learning.

Canada Wins Bronze at Physics World Cup

Canada Wins Bronze at Physics World Cup

By Clara Chung

Toronto, ON – A team of six Canadian delegates won bronze medals at the 30th International Young Physicists’ Tournament (IYPT), often dubbed the ‘Physics World Cup’, last week. IYPT is one of the largest international physics competitions for youths, alongside the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO), and is highly recognized by top universities around the world.

Canada made its first IYPT appearance in July 2016 at Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg, Russia. This year’s IYPT was hosted by the National University of Singapore from July 5th to 12th, and was attended by teams from 30 different countries from four continents. With only a single year of experience, the Canadian national team finished 14th this past Sunday, attaining a bronze medal with top competitors from South Korea and Switzerland. The team was composed of six Toronto-based high school students: Xiaoyang Chen (gr. 11 – team captain), Patrick Prochazka (gr. 11), Richard Zhu (gr. 10), Tian Miao Yu (gr. 11), Siyan He (gr. 12) and George Mo (gr. 11) lead by Ryan H. Lin and Xiaoran Jiang. This team of high school students comprises some of the top STEM talent in Canada; the students tackled advanced physical and mathematical theories, designed and conducted experiments, and analyzed data in preparation for this challenging tournament.

About IYPT

Each year, 17 open-ended physics problems are released for the students to research, experiment, and present their solutions in the following year’s competition. The roles of Reporter (Presentation), Opponent, and Reviewer are rotated among groups of teams, who are then graded by a jury of international experts. Whereas the IPhO is structured as theoretical and experimental exams, the preparation for IYPT imposes rigorous scientific methodologies that give a taste of what physics is truly about. The competition process itself requires the students to effectively communicate their findings with arguments clearly backed up with experimental data, and to consider different ways of unfolding seemingly simple problems. IYPT simulates the open-ended nature of research, allowing youths to hone an analytical approach useful in academia. Its international scale is a prime opportunity for precious interactions between brilliant young minds. For more information, please visit


About CaYPT

Whereas the IYPT is limited to one team per country, each participating country is required to have their own annual national competitions as part of a selection process for their national team. Canada hosted their very first national tournament — the Canadian Young Physicists’ Tournament (CaYPT) — on March 25th, 2017 at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Tremendous efforts had been put forth by a modest committee of three organizers to make the national-scale CaYPT happen this year. Nine teams attended the physics-filled day, connecting with peers and a jury composed of undergraduate to postdoctoral students studying at the Perimeter Institute and the University of Toronto. The winners of this tournament qualified to become the Canadian national team at the IYPT this year.

The current IYPT Member Organization for Canada is STEM Fellowship, a non-profit Canadian student-run organization. Along with CaYPT, STEM Fellowship organizes various STEM-based competitions and programs for youths such as the Big Data Challenge, which is recognized by major companies such as SAS and Microsoft. For more information, please visit



To learn more about CaYPT and Canada’s contribution to the IYPT, please contact
Clara Chung, CaYPT Organizing Committee Head, STEM Fellowship