Two activities filled with youth to the CEFOP laboratories. Both related to the camp “Chile Va, Youth Encounter with Science and Technology” in the Bio Bio Region, which ran for 7 to 12 April and which brought together students from different districts of the area.
First, during the afternoon of Tuesday 9 youth visited the University of Concepción, knowing five research centers and scientists sharing their workplace. CEFOP received groups of 30 students, distributed in laboratories 203 and 204 of Quantum Optics and the Satellite Remote Sensing Laboratory (LTS), where they were guided by our researchers. After a long day, about 50 students between 16 and 17 years passed by each place, may approach to frontier researchs, uniques in the country. The LTS engineer Mauro Ugarte said: “It is easy to interact with children, mainly because they bring a preconception elaborate, are open to listen carefully and to consult when they do not understand.” About the outreach work, Professor Wallon Anderson Nogueira added: “It’s necesary to have activities in addition to laboratory demonstrations, so that people know what you do in college. It is important that a person who is 15 or 16 years can think about the value of technological development in Chile, about the importance of science to the humanity”.
The second activity was held at the Hotel el Morro in Tomé, where the camp of Chile Va! was located and where arrives the scientific director of the Center for Optics and Photonics, Dr. Carlos Saavedra, to give a talk to the 159 students participating in the program. Beside him, the researcher and Ph. D. Gustavo Lima and de Ph. D. students Gustavo Cañas and Esteban Sepulveda presented a workshop where, through laser experience showed the wave-particle duality youth. The visit was very well received by students, that after the presentation “bombarded” with questions to teachers. Ana Moran, coordinator of the meeting in the region, highlighted the great reception given to the activity in the area: “I think scientists we’ve had here are very committed to the science, technology transfer and diffusion in children. I do not know how they have time for everything, and to keep being a great scientists, but I appreciate it and I see that the kids appreciate it too”.
Nicol Sepulveda, Liceo Experimental de Concepción’s student, was fueled by their biology teacher to participate. About CEFOP’s visit: “It was spectacular. The talks were very entertaining, with experiments, we can see great things. I hope they do it again, and that other students can participate. I recommend it”.
The aim of Chile Va! is precisely awaken scientific vocations in outstanding high school students, who are close to apply to college. The national program coordinator, Pedro Rosas, highlighted the concern to reduce gaps in scientific and technological education who OECD diagnosed in Chile. “For a couple of years it was decided that was required to do an intervention with middle school students, but the level of motivation, not transfer knowledge but to delight them with science, as a preliminary step to then begin them to show more knowledge. “
The program, which began in 2011, is an initiative implemented by the Program Explore and supported by the National Innovation Council for Competitiveness (CNIC) and the Ministry of Education, and has already gathered nearly 1,500 young people attending 3rd half in camps developed across the country. An effort that goes beyond search to the next generation of Chilean scientists: “We know that not all children will gain sufficient assurance studying science and technology, but we do want to come, that these issues are not so alien. They may not be scientific, but can be entrepreneurs, opinion leaders, journalists, and it turns out, if you have more people closer to science and technology, the best bet is productive development”, Rosas said.