Dr. DJ Kast

Scientific Advisory Council Member

Dieuwertje “DJ” Kast, Ed.D., is the Director of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education Programs for the University of Southern California’s (USC) Joint Educational Project, which includes managing the Young Scientists Program. She has provided STEM instruction to over 31,000 underserved students, 900 educators, 20 school principals, and countless community members.

Dr. Kast holds a doctorate in education, focusing on Teacher Education in Multicultural Societies in STEM at USC. She received her master’s degree in education and biology teaching credential from the USC Rossier School of Education. Her mission is to level the playing field for underserved students in STEM. She has coordinated the creation and publication of a STEAM Powered Career children's book series that features main characters of color and scientists of color for elementary school students. The publisher printed 90,000 free copies to distribute to low-income families in book desert areas in Los Angeles, and she spearheaded that distribution.

For her work in educational equity and DEI in STEM, she has received many accolades including Forbes 30 under 30 in Science Award in 2016, The National Association of Geoscience Teachers – Far Western Section (NAGT-FWS) Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award (2017), and 40 under 40 Public Health Catalyst 2023 Award from The Boston Congress of Public Health (2023). Dr. Kast has published in dozens of journals on culturally relevant STEM curriculum and instructional activities. Her work makes an impactful difference by leveling the playing field in STEM for low-income students of color in the Los Angeles area.