The nonprofit organization distributed a total of 250 posters and other educational materials about Puerto Rican and Latina women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to be displayed in schools and to expose young people to culturally relevant role models.
San Juan - Some 50 science and mathematics educators of grades 7-12 received educational materials highlighting Latina (mostly Puerto Rican) women scientists in their classrooms. The distribution of 250 posters and other resources is part of the "Siembra Semillas de Triunfo en tu escuela" initiative of the organization Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR). This coincides with the celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, established by the United Nations in 2015 and celebrated every February 11.
"Siembra Semillas de Triunfo en tu escuela" is a new initiative for educators, part of the Seeds of Success Program, which provides girls from 7th to 9th grade with educational tools and experiences to inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and to develop as leaders in their communities.
The educators, who represent campuses in 43 towns in Puerto Rico, received printed posters and a 2022 calendar to create a display in their schools based on the Latina Women in STEM Digital Collection, which contains downloadable posters, biographies and videos of more than 160 women mentors and allies of Seeds of Success. Educators also received a digital guide with instructions and ideas for effective use of the Latina Women Collection in STEM in their classrooms, the "Juntas Podemos" talks and Leadership Power Training, a short course for students on leadership skills, among other materials. The 50 educators, 42 of whom are from the public school system, were chosen from a pool of nearly 100 applicants based on their proposed ideas for creative use of the materials in their classrooms during 2022. "It gives us great satisfaction to expand our impact and sow Seeds of Success, not only in our girls, but now for all students in our schools. Our girls and boys will be able to learn about the legacy and contributions of women scientists and have in them as a refrence of success," said Dr. Giovanna Guerrero Medina, executive director of CienciaPR.
"Our educators are very motivated with this initiative and have already started to create their exhibits and special projects. I am very excited about the diversity of ideas and the creativity they have demonstrated," commented Elvin Estrada, Science Education Program Specialist at CienciaPR.
"Siembra Semillas de Triunfo en tu escuela" is possible thanks to the support of the wiSTEM2D program of Johnson & Johnson and the Medtronic Foundation, and also counts with the collaboration of other organizations such as Boston Scientific, Ecoexploratorio Museo de Ciencias de Puerto Rico, Fundación Amgen, Fundación Banco Popular, Fundación Ángel Ramos, Evertec and the PROUD Program of the University of PR-Humacao. But above all, the initiative relies on the contributions of hundreds of women in STEM who serve as role models.
"We hope that the use of the Digital Collection, posters, talks and other resources will bring the topic of the inclusion of women in science and the importance of representation and diversity for the advancement of STEM disciplines to the classroom," said Dr. Greetchen Díaz, director of the Science Education and Community Partnerships Program at Ciencia Puerto Rico.
The Latina Women Digital Collection, the Juntas Podemos talks, and the Leadership Power Training are available for free access on the CienciaPR website for any educator, parent or student interested in sharing inspiring role models. For more information about the "Siembra Semillas de Triunfo en tu escuela" initiative, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the Seeds of Success Program, please contact email@example.com. You can also visit www.cienciapr.org.