Space, science and robotics are also for girls and adolescents

In March 2020, the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (CRUCH) revealed that 55% of those selected to enter the university were women. Despite this majority, only 10% of them were admitted to engineering and construction careers and 6% to science areas, well below the figures of 28% and 13% of men admitted to these careers, respectively.

In her recent participation in Ingenious Week 2021, Alyssa Carson, a young American 19-year-old aspiring astronaut and ambassador of the Mars One project -which aims to create a terrestrial colony on Mars by 2030-, pointed out that “every day it is necessary to study something new. We do not know everything that is in space, there is much more to do, so there is a lot of curiosity. The different sciences can help us to think of new ideas ”.

In her talk, Carson highlighted the importance of inspiring girls to believe and dream big, and finding a close figure – mother, mentor, father, grandmother – to support these dreams. He also recommended that the girls tell these big dreams, not be shy about them: speak out because someone who listens may have a way to help you. Also, at a highly relevant point for our country given the university curriculum, he invited them to become passionate about something without looking so much at the barriers between disciplines, daring to “mix” in an original way.

It seems to us that another myth that must be dismantled is the belief that those who enter this type of career must be extremely intelligent. Not so: in all areas there are exceptional cases of genius, but the vast majority of those who work or research in these careers are ordinary people who develop their work based on effort, perseverance and study methodologies. As in any area, they are not exempt from failures, but nothing that prevents going, again and again, for the realization of dreams and desires.

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In a particularly challenging time for our country, with a constitutional discussion in progress, the call we make is to set our sights and open a conversation about the need to combat a gender gap that still persists.

Regarding careers that are predicted to be successful in the future, the Future of Jobs study, carried out by the World Economic Forum, indicates that by 2022 there will be 133 million new jobs, highlighting that the greatest demand will be found in areas such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This emphasizes the importance of eliminating the current gender gaps both in training and in the positions present in these disciplines. Education and the research base on which the country will be able to generate more and better well-being for the population requires the enthusiasm, skill and intelligence of many Chilean girls and adolescents who deserve the support of their families and much, much more.

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Myrtle Frost

"Reader. Evil problem solver. Typical analyst. Unapologetic internet ninja."

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