During this academic year, Cristina Esteves (CESAM/DBio) had the opportunity to return to the school where she completed her primary education in the Azores, through the “Scientist Returns to School” program.
This program is promoted by the organization “Native Scientists” and aims to bring scientists back to their childhood schools to conduct science workshops with children. Participants receive training in science communication for children, support to develop the workshops, and have travel and material expenses covered.
Regarding her experience in this initiative, Cristina Esteves mentions that “participating in a project like ‘Scientist Returns to School’ is doubly rewarding. Working with children is naturally challenging but also very rewarding: they are the most curious and insightful audience, with always very relevant questions that I often hadn’t thought about. But they are also an audience that (still) marvels at the wonders of science. On the other hand, returning to the village where I grew up brings back very good memories. I cannot fail to thank Native Scientists for the opportunity to participate in this project and especially Joana Bordalo for all her professionalism always accompanied by immense kindness, the Vila Franca do Campo Municipal Council, and the Regional Secretariat for Science and Technology, without which ‘returning to school’ would not have been possible.”
Since 2022, 42 scientists have returned to their schools, and the University of Aveiro has been a program partner since the 2022/23 academic year. Scientists interested in participating can register on the program’s website. To be eligible, one must conduct research in any field of knowledge and have completed primary education (1st cycle of basic education) in Portugal.
This program offers an opportunity to bring science closer to children and stimulate an interest in scientific subjects from an early age, contributing to a greater appreciation of scientific education in our country.
For more information about the program: firstname.lastname@example.org
Text based on: UA news with contributions from Cristina Esteves