March 4, 2021

Scientific isleas promote their vocation and equality among almost 5,000 schoolchildren – The Province

More than 4,800 students from almost 40 centers in the capital islands participated during the last academic year in the draft Canary women scientists, an initiative of the Autonomous Government together with the Observatory Astronomical Foundation of Temisas and the Association of Researchers of Las Palmas (Invepa) to promote both technical disciplines and sexual equality in primary and secondary education, in addition to training cycles.

Distinguished at the beginning of the year in the second Telefónica Chair competition of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), the project is part of the Steam program (acronym in English of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) of the Ministry of Education and Universities, initiated during the year 2017-18 to promote scientific vocations with a multidisciplinary approach. From November to February in Gran Canaria and from March to May in Tenerife, Canary women scientists made visible the work of fourteen researchers in the archipelago through a traveling exhibition in 37 educational centers, who also received the individual visit of some protagonist to chat with the students.

"They are very important scientists who have collaborated in a completely altruistic way", emphasizes the professor coordinator of the project on the part of the Canary Observatory Foundation of Temisas and Invepa, Arabela de la Nuez Cruz, which included José Manuel Sánchez Herrera as education counterpart with María Dolores Afonso Suárez, Manuel Núñez and María Isabel Hernández Rojas as collaborators, in particular, the astrophysicists Antonia Varela Pérez, Begoña García Lorenzo, Pilar Montañés Rodríguez and Nayra Rodríguez Eugenio, the physicists Natalia Arteaga Marrero and Catalina Ruiz Pérez, the economist Beatriz González López-Valcárcel, the Coromoto León Hernández computer science, the veterinarian Elena Carretón Gómez, the engineer Marilola Afonso Suárez, the geologist María del Carmen Cabrera Santana, the biologist May Gómez Cabrera, the mathematician Pino Caballero Gil and the chemist Zoraida Sosa Ferrera.

For the second edition, however, "we want to get to twenty researchers, at least, we have three more, at the moment," said Arabela de la Nuez before adding, as other improvements of the next course, the extension of the project to the non-capital islands, the incorporation of audiovisual resources in primary education and the programming of practical workshops in secondary school.


"It is not the scientific field different to any of the other fields of society, where the highest level of excellence, managerial function and recognition have been traditionally attributed to man, as can be seen in the granting of Nobel Prizes, maximum recognition to the scientific work, in theory, where until the year 2018 in which for the first time two women like Nobel of Physics and Nobel of Chemistry coincide, at the same time as soon as 15 women had obtained this recognition, in front of more than 300 men ", argues the project's memory on sociocultural androcentrism after citing the historical references of Hypatia of Alexandria, Ada Lovelace, Henrietta Swan Leavitt or Marie Curie, in addition to lamenting the male appropriation of discoveries starring Rosalind Franklin, Lise Meitner or Esther Lederberg .

However, "in no case is it intended to leave man aside or in the background, at all, but to claim that women have also contributed and contribute to society, join forces to win all", points out the coordinator from the Observatory of Temisas on the promotion of gender equality, the main objective of the educational project together with the development of curiosity for science and technology According to De la Nuez, precisely," I like to think that vocations were aroused , in fact, an old teacher contacted me by a student of (IES José) Arencibia Gil who wants to be an astrophysicist and learn more about the foundation, there is already one, I suppose there will be more ".

In short, "I was surprised by the reception of the project, the enthusiasm that has aroused among the coordinators of the centers and among all the teachers, they have always been very predisposed, also among the students, interested and with a very positive response," he said. Arabela de la Nuez Cruz before qualifying the first edition of Canary women scientists as "a success that has far exceeded the initial expectations". Indeed, the survey proposed to the coordinating teachers of the initiative in each participating center gives an average grade of 3.6, on a scale of 1 to 4, with the lowest scores in the exhibition (3.3) and the highest scores in the talk (3.9).

And this is also reflected in the personal assessment published in the Blog Differently the same by the teacher Begoña Martel as coordinator of Canary women scientists at the IES José Arencibia Gil: "The project has been a success in our center, this course has involved fifteen teachers from five different departments but several colleagues from others have shown interest if there was a second edition." The teaching staff has been very interested and She has given her curiosity to her students, the evaluation is totally satisfactory, it has been a gift. I hope the experience is repeated"

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