The Programa Futuras Cientistas is a program that was established in 2012 with the goal of exposing high school aged girls in Brazil to STEM-related topics. The program was created by Giovanna Machado, a CETENE researcher. She wanted to remedy the fact that while many women develop an interest in sciences when they are young, few make it to top level positions in STEM-related fields because of biases in the system that prevent them from feeling supported and capable of such careers (the so-called “leaky pipeline” phenomenon). Each year the program recruits a group of 20 girls from public schools in the Pernambuco region in Brazil, and provides them with several weeks of specialized lessons and support to help them succeed academically and to stimulate their interest in STEM.
Over the years, the program has often collaborated with foreign universities to expose the girls to women in STEM-related careers. In 2020, leaders from Programa Futuras Cientistas reached out to HGWISE about a potential collaboration for their virtual 2021 workshops. The collaboration went beautifully for our first year; a group of HGWISE members created and provided 8 different pre-recorded videos with workshops and lectures on various topics for the students. HGWISE members then actively participated in live sessions over Google Meetup to answer questions and interact directly with the girls.
HGWISE – Futuras Cientistas is a dynamic group of women interested in mentorship and teaching. We are always looking for new members interested in international collaboration, women’s empowerment, and in expanding their teaching experience!