For the third consecutive year, ICIQ researchers have participated in the #100tífiques initiative, promoted by the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI), in collaboration with the Department of Education.
#100tífiques aims to bring the work of female researchers closer to 10- to 13-year-old students and to promote scientific-technical vocations in children in Catalonia. Above all, the initiative’s goal is to give value to the work that women do in science and generate new reference models that encourage girls to choose STEAM careers. With 480 schools and almost the same number of participating researchers, the talks have reached over 20,000 students.
Eight ICIQ researchers have joined the initiative. Working in research fields such as the design and synthesis of catalysts, the investigation of photomagnetic materials and bio-inorganic models for energy applications, or the computational analysis of catalytic CO2 conversion processes, the researchers shared their personal trajectory with the schoolchildren. The scientists have also talked about what is the scientific method, or what are their research goals. For example, Imma Escofet (laboratory engineer) talked about “Design and synthesis of asymmetric molecules” while Katherine Villa (postdoctoral researcher) on “Artificial micro-swimmers for decontamination of water with sunlight”. Alba Pérez (doctoral student) in her talk entitled “Gold beyond jewels” shared her knowledge on the design and synthesis of enantioselective gold catalysts establishing similes between catalysts and everyday elements in the student’s life to explain that precious metals are useful beyond jewellery.
Breaking stereotypes related to science has been a recurring theme of the talks. Thus, some researchers shared the qualities that define a scientist: passion, curiosity, collaboration, etc. hinting that to some degree we all have these qualities within us. The talks have also included female scientific referents, showing that many more women are involved in the history of science than come to mind.
The motto of this third edition of #100tífiques was “STEAMem la ciència”, an edition strongly defined by new communication technologies since the current health situation has required the entire project to be carried out exclusively online. This fact, paradoxically, has allowed the organization of more talks and for them to reach more schools throughout Catalonia. Thanks to the digital format, 450 researchers participated in this edition – including a dozen Catalan scientists working abroad, among which is former ICIQ alumna Carla Casadevall, now a Marie Curie postdoctoral researcher at the Reisner group in Cambridge University. The virtual format has made it possible to offer schools a greater diversity of scientific and cultural profiles and to give visibility to the growing internationalization of science.