- The conversation was a satellite activity of the Gender Summit 12, an international event organized by CONICYT and that reaches Latin America and the Caribbean for the first time.
Expanding the national outlook and increasing vocations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in girls and adolescents is the purpose of the Ingeniosas program. It was in this context that the American experts Jazlyn Carvajal and Eileen Kahn presented their stories to 18 academics, in a conversation held on Wednesday, November 8, with the support of CONICYT, ComunidadMujer, the United States Embassy in Chile and Gender Summit 12
“For us it is very important to know the experiences of places where STEM has already taken certain steps, and the idea is that we can learn how to take them and apply them to our country. I hope that the fruits of this conversation leave this table to your different spaces”, Luis Chavarría, director of the Astronomy Program of CONICYT said.
From the Ingeniosas program, the director of Girls In Tech, Maitetxu Larraechea, explained the motivation of this initiative that today benefits more than two thousand girls, bringing them closer to STEM. “We wanted to join the Gender Summit and incorporate this previous reflection, to answer how we make the impact of this program as effective as possible. The conversation is more academic and closer to research, because that is precisely what can support this type of challenge”, she said.
Jazlyn Carvajal, co-founder of Latinas in STEM, shared her experience creating the organization that today empowers girls to pursue their vocation in these areas. “We started with a conference for students and their families, because we believe that this is essential to inspire and bring girls closer to science and technology. The Latin American communities in the United States need a lot of information and support to make this change possible”, she said.
For its part, Eileen Kahn, professor of robotics for school students, referred to the inclusion of girls in their program. “My philosophy is that robotics is not only robotics: we train young people to think differently, to use different skills that can be applied in any profession and it is fundamental that girls are included from their childhood in this, that they know that they are going to be a contribution. That is why the role models and the teachers are essential: if they see that another woman achieves it, they can also become one”, explained Eileen.
During the discussion, the participating academics linked to the world of science, shared the experiences that have allowed them to motivate more girls to pursue vocations in science and technology. This in the framework of the Ingeniosas Summit that takes place between 8 and 9 of November as a satellite activity of Gender Summit 12, international gender summit in science and technology organized by CONICYT.