Promoting STEM for girls in Central America with IILA

ICGEB has taken part in the second phase of a project promoting gender equality in studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Central America: stimulating scientific curiosity in girls and young women through Foldscope workshops across seven SICA countries.

On 7 June, 2023 Dr. Lucia Ines Lopez Rodriguez, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Cellular Immunology Laboratory taught a workshop on how to assemble and use folding microscopes (foldscopes) in Spanish. The tutorial was attended online to great success by more than 40 school teachers from countries in Central America – including 5 countries that are not yet ICGEB Member States.

The Latin American Outreach team at ICGEB Trieste, brought together by Dr. Lopez (right)

Dr. Lopez, from Uruguay, has rallied a team of researchers from Latin America from various laboratories at the ICGEB Headquarters in Trieste, Italy to participate in Outreach activities in the region.

ICGEB works with the International Italo-Latin American Organization IILA to support the training of young Latin American researchers, in collaboration with CECC SICA (Central American Integration System). The meeting to launch the initiative was attended by 300 students and teachers.

The collaboration is part of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAECI) -funded Cooperation Project “STEM Promotion and Reducing the Digital Gap in Central America from a Gender Perspective”, leading from a previous initiative to promote STEM disciplines in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

According to data provided by UNESCO, only 35 percent of science students are women and only 3 percent of female high school students choose studies related to information and communication technologies (ITC). This is alarming data, especially considering that STEM careers, which are crucial to promote innovation, social welfare and sustainable development, are considered key in the jobs of the future.

ICGEB is proud to work with IILA in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 to help close the gender gap in the study of science disciplines in Latin American countries.

Read more about our initiatives for Women in Science.