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Science and technology for social innovation

October 6, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

Access to science and technology can open us to endless possibilities to transform our world. Discover the scientific initiatives that, supported by Fundación Colunga, seek to leave the laboratory to connect with different social challenges. 

Photograph provided by Foundation Creating Curious

"Science is everywhere" notes the journalist specializing in science and technology, Andrea Obaid, who is also Vice President of Young Science Foundation. "From the smallest we use, such as toothpaste, a cell phone, a television, electricity, or our clothes". Therefore, it emphasizes the importance of raising awareness in the population and democratizing their access: “It is necessary to create a culture and a scientific education in Chile, because finally science, technology and innovation are the keys to the development of a contemporary society based on knowledge”.

Thus, Colunga Foundation It supports projects that have seen in the development of scientific education, an opportunity to find innovative solutions to problems faced by vulnerable sectors of our society. 

Odyssey It is one of these NGOs. Supported since 2017, they use science and technology to promote the development of creative abilities, observation and critical thinking in children living in poverty, in order to give them concrete tools to solve their own problems and those of their environment. Melania Sanhueza, Executive Director of the entity, points out how scientific education has an impact on their daily lives: “In Odyssey, we believe that science and technology are key to the understanding of the challenges we work with children in our programs, using them to validate the hypotheses that are posed in front of the problems that they themselves evidence day by day, and incorporating knowledge instead of speculating with the information. ”

While, Creando Curiosos Foundation finds its focus on stimulating the curiosity of preschool-age students, through advice and guidance to pedagogues who educate in vulnerable contexts. For the Executive Director of the entity, Rosario Calderón, the development of scientific thinking from early childhood to future generations is essential: “It enhances skills such as interest in learning, research and collaboration, which will allow them, in the future, to carry out social innovation projects with critical thinking and scientific vision, collecting data to support the objectives, measuring the impact of the projects and doing rigorous monitoring. ”

Under a different context, the community Girls in Tech Chile, supported by Colunga since 2016, dedicates its work to connect and make visible women who work developing technology, with the aim of positioning them as social references to inspire young people of the following generations.

Photo: Girls in Tech - Facebook

Maitetxu Larraechea, Executive Director, states that the role of women is essential in all areas of society. However, there is a great challenge in certain spaces: "In science and technology it is worrying, since the low percentage of women involved in these areas is compromising the possibility of having more creative and innovative teams finding solutions". According to data provided by the entity, in Chile, women studying technological careers reach 10%, and in the work, their participation only reaches 4%. “Therefore, gender diversity in these areas is one of the priority elements that we must reverse, and with this, expand diversity in all areas”, concludes Maitetxu.

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