University of São Paulo: New podcast invites young people to broaden horizons from science

The Brazilian Science and Engineering Fair (Febrace), promoted annually by the Polytechnic School (Poli) of USP and carried out by the Technological Integrated Systems Laboratory (LSI-TEC), launched earlier this month the podcast program Mentes Criativas, Soluções Innovadoras. The new podcast features two series of interviews: Women in Science , now available on major platforms, and Young Transformers , which airs on March 29. Each series has eight episodes, available on Tuesdays, and published on Febrace ‘s website , Facebook and Instagram .

“The program is yet another initiative to encourage young people and teachers of basic education to broaden their horizons based on science”, says Professor Roseli de Deus Lopes, general coordinator of Febrace. “Every year, hundreds of students and professors, engaged in scientific and technological research projects, visit the fair. They come from different parts of the country, from public and private schools, and many have their lives radically changed as a result of this experience. The podcast is about telling these inspiring stories,” she highlights.

In the series Mulheres na Ciência , one of the interviewees is Adriana de Oliveira, 28 years old. A Chemical Engineer at a multinational company, she was born in a humble neighborhood on the outskirts of São Paulo, studied at a public school and received a food grant to be able to attend a federal university in São Paulo. The experience she had when participating in Febrace, even when she was in high school, was crucial to never giving up in the face of adversity. Another highlight is the teacher from Minas Gerais Fernanda Aires Guedes Ferreira, 35 years old. Dubbed the “queen of science fairs”, she was notable for her initiatives to promote young people’s interest in scientific thinking in their city, Mateus Leme. One of them was the creation of a non-profit organization to promote training activities and project exhibitions.

Science that empowers

UNESCO data show that less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women. And the reasons for this low female participation in the world of science are purely cultural and social. “Reducing the gender gap in science is a task that is the responsibility of the whole of society”, highlights the coordinator of Febrace.

“In addition to facing prejudice, it is necessary to support women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This is one of the goals of the Women in Science series ,” she adds. According to her, it is still very common for women to be discouraged in this regard. “We believe that examples of overcoming challenges serve to encourage other girls.”

Innovation that transforms

The Young Transformers series will be a showcase of the creative power of young people in the country. It will feature interviews with students who believed that scientific and technological knowledge is not the privilege of a few. “They will tell their stories, showing that everyone is capable of mastering science and developing technological solutions”, says the professor.

“Increasingly, young people are connected with the events around them and respond with enthusiasm when they can actively participate in their education, interacting with educators more intensively, working as a team, studying issues related to social, technological and environmental advances. Many develop projects with great transformative potential, and that is what will be shown in the series”, he concludes.

The podcast has the support of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

About Febrace

Promoted annually by the Escola Politécnica da USP and carried out by the Laboratory of Technological Integrated Systems (LSI-TEC), the Brazilian Science and Engineering Fair (Febrace) is the largest Brazilian exhibition of scientific projects in scope and visibility. Its objective is to stimulate scientific culture, innovation and entrepreneurship in basic and technical education, awakening new vocations in these areas and inducing innovative pedagogical practices in schools.

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