Thirteen researchers from IGTP bring science closer to students in the 6th edition of #100tífiques

- Conferences, Success Stories

On 7 February, "#100tífiques" returned for its sixth edition, a macro-event that has become a benchmark for advocacy within the Catalan female research community and schools. A total of 540 researchers from public and private entities gave talks in 454 schools across 39 comarques of Catalonia, reaching 31,000 students aged between 11 and 13 years, to promote scientific and technical vocations among girls and boys.

The initiative, organised by the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI) and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), in collaboration with the Departments of Education and Research and Universities of the Generalitat, was integrated into the "International Day of Women and Girls in Science" on 11 February (this year it fell on a Sunday, so the activities in schools were moved to the preceding school days).

Expanding on last year's participant numbers, thirteen scientists from the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) took part in this event. We asked them for their thoughts on being part of this initiative, and here is what they shared:

  • Cristina Agustí, Col·legi Santa Anna (Segrià): I volunteered for this initiative to provide female scientist role models to teenagers, to empower and inspire them.
  • Eva Coll, Escola Vicente Ferrer (Sant Boi de Llobregat): As a young person, nobody had ever explained to me what a scientist does or why their work is important. It's something I've come to understand as I've progressed in my career. Therefore, being able to bring real science to such young children is necessary. It can ignite a spark that turns into a generation of capable and informed people entering the world of science with enthusiasm and objectives from the start.
  • Arola Fortian, Institució Les Alzines (Girona): As a scientist, I feel a responsibility to connect with society, share knowledge, and inspire future scientists. Through #100tífiques, we make science more accessible, encourage curiosity, and challenge stereotypes, showing that anyone, regardless of gender, can contribute to and be part of the scientific community.
  • Esther Fuentes, Escola Pau Vila (El Papiol): : I wanted to participate in this initiative because I find it very interesting to bring to schools an understanding of how a research laboratory works and to make them aware of the importance of research in advancing the search for treatments for diseases.
  • Paula Goncalves, INS La Pobla de Segur (La Pobla de Segur): I believe that portraying a female scientist is fundamental to inspire future generations and to show that more and more women are reaching scientific positions. Science has no gender; you just need to be curious.
  • Raquel Guillamat, Escola Palau d'Ametlla (Montornès del Vallès): I participate in the initiative to share what we do in the laboratory, what our day-to-day is like, to create role models, and to remember that we must be able to explain what we do in simple words, so that even children can follow us.
  • Irene Latorre, Institut Escola Pla de l'Avellà (Cabrera de Mar): It's very motivating to transmit the values of science in primary classrooms by sharing my work. Highlighting the role of women in science both within and outside the educational sphere is an aspect I consider fundamental. On the other hand, I am very struck by the learning capacity of children and how quickly they acquire knowledge. As a result of this activity, new scientific questions have also arisen for me, which I find very stimulating.
  • Aikaterini Lymperidou, Escola Garbí Pere Vergés (Badalona): I find #100tífiques to be a great initiative that can inspire children, but especially girls who are not equally represented in scientific fields! The reason I participated is that through this talk, schools offer students the chance to break social stereotypes, encouraging girls to study sciences and, in parallel, to better understand what different professions encounter in their daily tasks. I enjoyed answering questions and making data science more accessible to girls! I am also pleased to have helped all children, even the youngest, to find their dream job. I would love to participate again in any similar action.
  • Helena Mazuelas Gallego, Escola Los Castellets (La Fatarella): I participated in this initiative because I think we have a moral obligation to make ourselves visible. We are here, we are women conducting research, and we are here. As long as there are people in the population who think there are no women in science, we will have to continue exposing ourselves, making ourselves visible, and participating in all the initiatives we can.
    During the talk, the first question they asked me in the Q&A session was whether there were many girls studying the Biomedical Sciences degree at university. They were surprised when I explained that the majority were women. In fact, we were 90% women and 10% men. So we have to keep explaining in schools and colleges that there are many women studying and doing science. Science is not for men or women; it's for anyone who is passionate about it.
  • Noemí Parraga, ZER TRAMUNTANA - a ZER is a grouping of rural schools with the same educational project that we work on together (Ventalló): although it was online, I loved it, I was able to give them a tour of the laboratory with the laptop and I think it's one of the things they liked the most. I really enjoyed participating this year because they asked me many questions, two of which I particularly liked:
    Do you have a social life? This surprised me and I think this type of activity is necessary to bring the figure of the scientist closer to the children and to show that we are normal people, with a more or less normal day-to-day life, with children, hobbies, friends…
    Can your work be frustrating? I loved this because they understand that it can be a very hard job, but at the same time, I told them it can be very rewarding.
  • Maria Vidal, MDP Capellades (Capellades): I wanted to be part of this initiative to raise awareness among the younger generation about the current state of science and to dispel myths. I had a great time!

Rosa Maria Ampudia also participated in this edition at Escola Arrels II in Solsonès. Mariona Cortacans will participate in Escola Vaixell de Burriac in Vilassar de Mar in May.

Initiatives like #100tífiques play a key role in fostering scientific interest among young people. Through these activities, students have the opportunity to delve into the world of science and technology, interacting directly with professionals in the field and learning about their work. Moreover, the visibility of female researchers at these events serves as an example and inspiration in the educational field. In short, these initiatives not only promote diversity and inclusion in the scientific community but are also fundamental in inspiring and shaping future generations of scientists and researchers.

IGTP is committed to promoting equality and diversity. We recognise the importance of creating a work environment free from discrimination, harassment, and intimidation. In line with this commitment, we have developed an Equality Plan that includes a series of measures to ensure equal opportunities and prevent any form of discrimination. With the implementation of these measures and policies, the organisation aims to create an inclusive and respectful work environment that values and supports all its members.