This year, we are celebrating a decade of promoting science and research in Puerto Rico. Through our programs and initiatives we have transformed the way science and scientists are presented in the media. We have created thousands of resources to make science relevant to the reality and culture of students in our classrooms. We have also established programs that foster the development of the next generation of Puerto Rican scientists and innovators. Our efforts have been recognized by the White House and by the Caribbean Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
A seemingly wild idea
A little over 10 years ago, CienciaPR was as an idea. What if there was a website where anyone in the world who is interested in science and Puerto Rico could find each other? What if scientists could contribute to Puerto Rico no matter where they were located?
This seemingly wild idea was born at Stanford University —in the heart of Silicon Valley—where founder Daniel Colón-Ramos was a postdoc and around the same time where social networks like Facebook were created.
CienciaPR was envisioned as a space for connection, cooperation and the exchange of ideas and resources. We realized that by creating a web-based network that brought together the geographically dispersed Puerto Rican scientific community we could transform the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ecosystem in Puerto Rico. Ten years ago we could not have imagined that it would become so much more.
Today the CienciaPR community is over 7,500 strong, with members in over 400 institutions of higher education and more than 50 countries. Thanks to the collective knowledge and commitment of this community, CienciaPR has become a leader in fostering public understanding of science through science communication; in making science relevant to the culture and reality of students by creating classroom resources and programs; and in supporting the professional development of scientists-in-training and highlighting the contributions of established STEM professionals.
The impact of CienciaPR extends beyond the Puerto Rican archipelago to the Hispanic and Latinx community in the U.S., as evidenced by our recent recognition by the White House as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education.
Another decade of science for all
CienciaPR has had many milestones, all of which were possible thanks to the countless hours (over 100,000 and counting) donated by our volunteers and the support of YOU—OUR COMMUNITY. Looking forward to the next 10 years, we want to continue growing and increasing our impact. To achieve these goals CienciaPR is launching its first ever crowdfunding campaign, titled #ConCienciaPR.
#ConCienciaPR celebrates the essence of who we are. Since the beginning, CienciaPR has been a participatory organization that puts the collective wisdom of our community into action for the benefit of society. The name of our campaign is inspired by conscientia or joint knowledge, in Latin. #ConCienciaPR is also a word play of the Spanish for with science (con ciencia) and with CienciaPR (con CienciaPR).
For the past decade, YOU—our members and supporters—have been the force that drives and inspires us. By contributing to the campaign and showing you are #ConCienciaPR you will help us ensure that our community can continue promoting STEM education and careers in Puerto Rico and making science accessible and exciting to everyone for many years to come.
No contribution is too small. We’ve even thrown in a few perks! Supporters will be able to receive a copy of our sold out ¡Ciencia Boricua! book or a special anniversary bumper sticker or t-shirt. You could also get the chance to nominate a scientist to be the subject of one of our profiles or bring a scientist to your school of choice.
Donations can be made until October 22, 2016. You can also share our campaign with your friends, family and colleagues, or give us a shout-out on Facebook and Twitter telling us why you are #ConCienciaPR.
Thank you and happy 10th anniversary CienciaPR!