They opened the Q space? rioso at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) Punta Culebra Nature Center, a project that aims to spread knowledge and learning beyond the classroom.
The event was attended by Smithsonian Institution Panama members, donors, and the media. STRI Director Joshua Tewksbury and Smithsonian Gladys President Navarro de Gerbaud gave the welcome speech, and they joined Jimena Pitty, director of the Punta Culebra Nature Center, to cut the ribbon.
Inspired by the scientific learning space Q? rius at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., seeking Q? rioso aims to advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through informal and interactive learning. With spaces designed to provide access to exhibits, artifacts, collections, scientific instruments and more, children and adults alike can unleash their curiosity and explore one hundred years of discovery and research at STRI.
“I don’t know if you remember any activity you did in your childhood that made you feel the magic of science. For me, I remember the first time I ate chili. Why chili is hot? Why some more itching? These simple experiments can,” Director Tewksbury said during the opening. So much so that it changes people’s lives, the flicks of the mind and a new world opens up.” “A lot of our scientists have stories like that, and as humans, if there’s one thing we have in common, it’s that we’re curious beings.”
Tewksbury highlighted the dedication of the teams that worked to make the Q? rioso, including a team from the National Museum of Natural History. Team of guides, teachers, administrators, coordinators and maintenance of Punta Culebra; STRI fundraising team; architects and engineers from Smithsonian facilities; creators and writers in the field of communications; STRI operations team; Scholars and experts who provided collections and knowledge; And those who are no longer part of STRI, but plant their seeds to create Q? rios.
“Today more than ever, it is urgent for us to value and conserve biodiversity, to ensure the future of future generations. Our biodiversity is a treasure that we still have in abundance in our country and we must preserve. Today we are teaching the young ones about it,” said Gladys de Gerbode. Great treasure and open their minds to the curiosity of exploration, question and discovery in this unique space called Q? rio”.
Gladys de Gerbo also thanked the Foundation’s members, donors and entities that made the opening of Q? Possible rios: Arosemena family, Alberto Motta Foundation, Sus Buenos Vecinos Foundation, Heilbron Ortega family, Miguel Heras, Mirei Endara de Heras, Ricardo Arango and family, Marie and Luca del Bono, Fidanque family, Liz Henriquez, Ana Lisa Simmons and family, Hanono, Gustavo Arango and Family, Julio Escobar, Enrique Olarte and Family, Arturo Gerbo and Family, Hawthorne Foundation, US Embassy in Panama, Jaime and Pilar Aleman, Juan Raul Humbert, and Juan David Morgan.
Q was supposed to open? rioso in March 2020, but has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Team Q created? rioso program Q? Digital, a virtual experience so that visitors to Punta Culebra have the opportunity to discover Q? rioso in times of pandemic. The Punta Culebra Nature Center celebrates the opening of this space that connects science with society and inspires future generations of scientists in Panama.