The Ausiàs March School of Early Childhood and Primary Education (CEIP) in Alicante has recently been awarded at the awards ceremony granted by the Aquae Foundation, in collaboration with Aguas de Alicante, within the framework of the Aquae STEM educational program. The event was attended by Javier Díez, General Director of Aguas de Alicante, Amelia Navarro, Director of Sustainable Development and Equity of Aguas de Alicante, and María del Carmen Sánchez, Deputy Mayor of Alicante.
Students and teachers of this school received the award in the category "Most original and creative solution 2021-2022", with which they wanted to value their idea of turning the activity proposed by the organization into a contest and which involved the transportation and water management.
To do this, each team faced the challenge of presenting their project to a "big company", the teachers in this case, to obtain investment. Undoubtedly, a challenge for the students between 2nd and 6th grade of Primary Education participating in this first edition of this three-year program, which was launched in October 2019.
According to the conclusions of the latest Científicas en Cifras report, prepared by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, in Spain the so-called «glass ceiling» still persists in the academic and labor world, and the presence of female students in scientific careers is limited to 28, 5% of the total, only 21% of women hold university chairs, and barely 25% are part of the research faculty.
In this context, Aquae STEM is an educational program whose objective is to promote the interest of female students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers and thereby counteract the gender gap observed in the scientific and technicians.
Through it, Aguas de Alicante and the Aquae Foundation are committed to collaboration and alliances, with the aim that girls do not see science as something unattainable. In addition, it is a clear commitment to essential values for both organizations, such as equity, diversity and inclusion, which are essential values to contribute to not only economic but also social, sustainable, diverse and inclusive recovery.
During the last three academic years, close to two hundred students from 2nd to 6th grade of Primary Education from four CEIP in Alicante (Ausiàs March, Santísima Faz, La Aneja and Costa Blanca) have been learning and delving into the secrets of the different scientific specialties through through Aquae STEM, in addition to facilitating teacher training.
Beyond the figures, the balance of these three school years confirms that the active, practical and inclusive method of Aquae STEM has managed to foster the interest of schoolgirls in these university careers, turning the students into the protagonists, providing them with didactic experiences, fostering confidence in their scientific-technological capacities and showing them female references in these areas.