Today, the Naturgy Foundation’s Bolarque Museum held the awards ceremony for the school finalists of the second edition of the “Conoce a un científic@” competition organised by the Board of Foundations for Science, in partnership with the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT).
The Board of Foundations for Science consists of the Fundación Científica Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (Spanish Science Association Foundation against Cancer), the Eduardo Barreiros Foundation, the Junior Achievement Foundation, the Naturgy Foundation, the Pfizer Foundation and the Telefónica Foundation, who all decided to dedicate the second edition of this competition to “Our energy, our challenge”.
CEIP Alcarria in Guadalajara, was one of the winners this year, alongside five other schools in the Community of Madrid. CEIP Carmen Iglesias (Tres Cantos), CEIP Pablo Picasso and Colegio JOYFE (Madrid), Colegio Virgen del Remedio (Alcorcón) and Colegio Alborada (Alcalá de Henares).
The aim of this initiative, designed for 9 to 11-year-old primary school students and 11 to 13-year-old secondary school students from the Community of Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha, is to teach about scientific work and professionals, encourage emotive learning through the experiences, and research a subject to then think of some questions and therefore also develop oral expression and communication.
This year, a total of 20 school groups took part. Each of them presented a video about a project they worked on in class that is related to the theme of the competition, or a video where they present the questions they would ask an expert/researcher about energy. The members of the judging panel assessed the projects, the information provided, the originality and creativity, as well as the enthusiasm demonstrated by the participants.
The winning groups visited the hydropower plant and the Naturgy Foundation’s Bolarque Museum, and interviewed Naturgy's expert in renewable power generation, Alfonso, J. de la Rosa, and the Youtuber specialising in science dissemination, J.J. Priego.
The Managing Director of FECYT, Pilar Domingo, expressed her satisfaction at holding the second edition of a competition that is “the result of the collaboration of six private Spanish foundations which, together with FECYT, promoted the development of STEM skills in new generations.”
Meanwhile, the Director of Energy, Technology and the Environment at the Naturgy Foundation, Manuel Calvo, highlighted how the initiative has reached schools in Castilla-La Mancha, de-centralising the educational experience to make it accessible to children in this region. “This event has enabled a great educational resource such as the Naturgy Foundation’s Bolarque Museum, located in Guadalajara, to hold such an ambitious initiative as this.”
In addition, the head of Cultural Dissemination at the Telefónica Foundation, Alicia Carabias, noted the important work being carried out by the private Spanish foundations in the development of technology and science skills in young children. “We need to inspire and empower them so that young boys and girls realise the importance that technological and scientific development has in our daily lives. We will guarantee the innovation required to progress and contribute to a better future for everyone only if we manage to direct their future towards the STEM skills.”
About the Board of Foundations for Science
In 2014, the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology promoted the creation of the Board of Foundations for Science to group together the private foundations that work in the field of science, technology and innovation with the aim of exchanging knowledge, sharing good practices and generating collaborative projects.
The work carried out by these foundations provides several benefits for Spanish society as a whole: increasing scientific activity by funding research projects; developing knowledge through their own research activity; stimulating the development of science careers and the retention of Spanish talent through pre- and post-doctoral contracts; promoting and disseminating scientific knowledge and interest from a young age, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) is a public foundation that is part of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. FECYT collaborates with both private entities and centres, universities and other organisations of the Spanish System of Science and Technology in its three lines of action: science dissemination, scientific studies and information and international science.