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Young Portuguese scientists sensitize children to Technology

5
May
2020
Led by Mariana Alves and Rafael Galupa, researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Germany, the "Letters with Science" project aims to "foster epistolary exchanges that help to mitigate barriers and prejudices related to higher education and careers in research, promoting scientific literacy and the Portuguese language ".
The initiative, according to a statement from the promoters sent to the Lusa agency today, will be developed "through letter correspondence between children from the nine Portuguese-speaking countries and Portuguese-speaking researchers from all over the world", through the website https: //www.cartascomciencia .org /.

The project is launched today, World Day of the Portuguese Language.
"Many of these children will receive a letter for the first time", stresses Mariana Alves, explaining that, during an academic year, children and researchers will exchange a total of eight letters in four rounds, on Scientific Research and career, Higher Education, Obstacles and challenges and how to overcome them, and Reflection and heritage of the Portuguese language".
Rafael Galupa adds that "Letters with Science" will bring together "Portuguese-speaking researchers straws around the world in universities and institutes, for anyone carrying out scientific research, such as laboratory technicians, doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers, heads of research, university professors, among others ".

"The entire organization is ensured by our team. We will associate the participating classes - registered by the respective teachers, with a number of researchers equal to the number of students in each class, thus adopting a policy that fosters inclusion: all students in each class participate in the program regardless of your initial interest in scientific careers ", stresses the researcher.

According to those responsible for the project, the students' academic and / or recreational interests - for example, animals, space or human body, and football, reading or music - will be taken into account in the choice of researchers to correspond with ".

For Mariana Alves and Rafael Galupa, by raising a greater interest in the universe of higher education and science, the project constituted a "strategic step" towards social change, promoting "the reduction of inequalities and the quality of education of Portuguese-speaking citizens, two of the 17 sustainable development goals set by the United Nations for 2030 ".
"More children will see research careers and higher education as a possibility, especially in underprivileged contexts", stresses Mariana Alves, recalling the fact that eight of the nine countries that have Portuguese as their official language are developing countries, "five of them in UN list of Least Developed Countries ".

The promotion of Portuguese as a language of knowledge and opportunities, which is spoken by more than 250 million people worldwide, is another of the virtualities highlighted in the "Letters with Science" project.

"However, for many children living in the PALOP countries, since Portuguese is not their mother tongue, it is the language of the school. It is based on this reality that we intend to promote Portuguese as a language of knowledge and opportunities, solidarity and cooperation. among the PALOP ", highlights Rafael Galupa.
The project has a partnership with the Gulbenkian Institute of Science and the University of Aveiro (Portugal), Osuwela (Mozambican NGO), Tundavala Polytechnic Institute (Lubango, Angola), CISION and Idea Factory (Portugal).

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