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Rebuilding Science Education in Puerto Rico

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture


This past September, back-to-back hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico. The archipelago had already been struggling with a decade-long economic recession, fragile infrastructure and floundering institutions. Irma and Maria plunged Puerto Rico into an even deeper crisis. But could these natural disasters create once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for change?

Meet our new Education Programs Specialist!

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture

The CienciaPR staff continues to grow! We want to officially welcome Elvin Estrada, who during joined the Ciencia Puerto Rico team as Educational Programs Specialist and Social Media Coordinator, this March.

Elvin received his bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences from Interamerican University and a master's degree in Biotechnology from the Pontificial Catholic University of Puerto Rico. He has more than 4 years of experience in the areas of scientific research and digital marketing. Before joining the CienciaPR staff, Elvin worked as a biologist in the Department of Medical Entomology of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a research project aimed at to the prevention of the transmission of the Zika virus.

CienciaPR awarded NSF grant to promote science education post-Maria

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture

SAN JUAN, PR - The non-profit organization Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR), in collaboration with Yale University, received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to encourage Puerto Rican students to explore, present, and implement scientific solutions to the challenges created by hurricanes Irma and Maria. The grant, amounting to $186,086 for one year, was one of 23 granted by the federal agency to do research in Puerto Rico related to the natural disasters, and the only one in the field of education.

Meet our Director of Science Education Programs and Community Partnerships

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture

To successfully implement our new strategic direction of transforming science education to promote a culture of science, critical thinking and problem-solving in Puerto Rico, besides creating a Board of Directors composed of internationally-recognized leaders in science, education and civic society, CienciaPR needed to hire a new staff member in Puerto Rico. 

Introducing the new CienciaPR Board of Directors

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture

Under our new strategic direction, one of CienciaPR’s goals is to grow our infrastructure, human and financial resources to make CienciaPR a sustainable nonprofit organization. To achieve this, one of our first objectives was to put together a Board of Directors composed by leading scientists, educators, innovators and members of the community that could complement our existing expertise, help us secure new sources of funding, and increase the visibility, recognition and influence of the organization, and overall, help us increase the impact of CienciaPR.

Hurricane Maria - Public Health and Prevention

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture

More than a month since Maria hit Puerto Rico, there is still a lot of standing water and a large number of households with little or no access to potable water, which increases the possibility of diseases such as leptospirosis, gastroenteritis, dengue, zika and chikungunya. However, many of these diseases are preventable if citizens take the right precautions.

Hurricane Maria - Aid, funding, and support for affected scientists and students

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture

We are very thankful to the international scientific community has rallied in support of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after the devastating passage of Hurricane María. Here we will list ways to solicit or review offers of aidfunding opportunities, offers of tuition and registration for students, and other resources. We also offer tips on how to seek placement in other labs.

Hurricane Maria - How Institutions Can Help

Solymar Rolón-Martínez's picture

Driven by the Puerto Rican diaspora, several institutions have mobilized to help students and scientists affected after Hurricane Maria. Here we outline several initiatives and institutional offers and how you can serve as a link from your institution.

How to involve your institution? 

Notify your institution - Here at CienciaPR we received a number of questions on how students and scientists affected by the hurricane could be helped. Immediately after the hurricane, we shared a template to help students and faculty engage institutional leaders in disaster response measures.

Hurricane Maria - Grants Policies

Zulmarie Perez Horta's picture

Due to the extent of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, funding agencies, institutions and professional organizations have issued statements on the different measures they will take to support the scientific enterprise in Puerto Rico and ensure the continuity of research and education on the island.


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