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The PROVOCA initiative certifies second-generation STEM mentors

The PROVOCA initiative certifies second-generation STEM mentors

On Saturday 9 December, a certification ceremony was held for 23 new PROVOCA mentors, to become qualified to accompany the initiative’s students from 2024. Interesting certification projects highlighted topics such as academic migration, life on shift, career decisions and career changes, the emergence of women Science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Latin America, among others.

The PROVOCA initiative, of AUI/NRAO, which seeks to promote, mentor, mentor and sustain women’s careers in STEM disciplines (science, computer science, engineering and mathematics), has just certified its second generation of mentors, 23 women who will go on to inspire new generations of Chileans. The ceremony took place on Saturday, December 9, in which members from all over Chile presented innovative certificate projects.

The program brought them from their areas of residence to Santiago, where they met colleagues from the metropolitan area and three mentors currently working. Soon, the pool of certified mentors will be photo-reviewed, making their resumes, careers and careers visible, so more girls and women can access them as role models in STEM and can apply for this mentoring program in the future.

At the closing ceremony, the candidates presented their collective certificate projects. In this second generation of mentors, 9 groups were formed, with projects that included several Instagram accounts, a game, a video podcast, a workshop for schools, an interview series and much more. Interesting certification projects highlighted topics such as Academic migration, life in transition, career decisions and career changes, and the visibility of STEM women in Latin Americaamong other things.

The 2023 mentors have diverse professions, including, of course, astronomers, but also materials science experts, mining engineers, marine biologists, science and mathematics teachers, among other STEM disciplines. From now on they are Ready to be spokespersons, role models and mentors for the PROVOCA initiative.

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During the ceremony, they received video greetings from Sandra Kaufmandeputy director of the Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate; Joanna Orellanateacher and researcher at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Cuenca and director of the PROMECI Extension Program at the same university; Camila Navarrete, PROVOCA 2021 guide and astronomer working as a postdoctoral researcher in Nice, at the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur; And Camila Perezone of two Toconaw girls who were part of the role-playing experiment that inspired the creation of the PROVOCA initiative in October 2018.

Many other compliments have been received and will be part of PROVOCA’s promotional materials. This is the situation Camila Perez, who participated in many PROVOCA activities and is today preparing to enter university, said on this occasion: “Every girl should have the opportunity to be accompanied by a mentor.” In addition, Camila Navarrete She shared how she was able and willing to remain a mentor for the second year in a row, even though she had gone to live in France, and showed them that it is possible to reconcile the complexity of time differences if one wants to. while, Sandra Kaufman She invited them to reflect on the importance of mentoring processes and the dedication it means to be a mentor, as a driver of change in life and support for other careers.

For this part, Magdalena Osorio, newly certified guide and Dr.. (c) Science with mention of microbiology, with a background in biochemistry BASE Millennium Institute for Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Research, He commented, “The mentor training program exceeded my expectations in every area. The choice of sessions, the topics covered and the safe space they are created in are amazing. As each session helps us learn about ourselves and our identity as women in these areas, it is very powerful, because We learned to value our paths and believe in the abilities we have. Moreover, the tools available to implement our future directions are very valuable, because they provide us with a foundation and more security so that we can interact more effectively with girls and young people, which is no small challenge. It was an amazing experience, and I must say that I arrived with a lot of doubts and expectations, because when I applied it was the first time I had heard about the program. I feel that from the first session, I was connected and fully motivated to continue participating. In addition, A support network of amazing women was created, with a variety of stories, and even though I came from different areas, I saw myself reflected in them. I think this generates a kind of complicity and a sense of belonging to this community. In short, for me, it was an experience of growth Personal and denial of the harassment that afflicts women in STEM, but through socializing in each session we realized that the problem is not with us, but rather something bigger and that together we are stronger to be agents of change in those spaces. This is what we will clearly convey to the girls and young men who participate in the program.

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Javiera Toro, a 2021 certified guide and astronomy student at the University of Chile (1st generation PROVOCA and participant in the 1st Role Model Experience 2018), commented on her impressions of the projects and presentations of her new colleagues: “I can say that all the projects were very innovative and ingenious, compared to what we did in the first generation. They had a creative approach And very nice to reach young audiences, and not only that, but they were able to expand the message, both related to PROVOCA and inclusion in STEM, much more quickly, through the formats chosen. I was able to see how the PROVOCA sessions reflected and learned in and Their presentations.