The Inspira STEAM project is going from strength to strength and has almost 1,000 participants

The programme seeks to motivate sixth-grade students to pursue scientific and technological studies, break down gender stereotypes and showcase women as role models, especially for girls

Nearly a thousand participants from 19 schools in the Tarragona region have taken part in the fourth edition of the Inspira program. Devised in 2016 by the University of Deusto and coordinated and led in Tarragona by the URV, the project, aims to promote activities that help to break down gender stereotypes and normalize the presence of women in STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). The people responsible are the 80 mentors, most of them women, who work in the local scientific and technological sector and who unselfishly visit schools and carry out activities for boys and girls to reinforce the figure of women in science and technology. The students are given the opportunity to express their motivations and to learn about STEAM subjects through female role models in the field.

The closing symposium of the Inspira project for this academic year was held on 28 June, and it was attended by mentors and representatives of the URV and the sponsoring companies. “We are creating a community of mentors who are becoming role models for girls, with institutions like the URV behind them that are committed to the project,” said Maria Luz Guenaga, General Coordinator of the Inspira STEAM programme. During the symposium, the experience was assessed and discussed, and the most positive aspects, the capacity for improvement and the work done were also analysed.

One of the difficulties that was most often pointed out during the project is the girls’ self-perception when it comes to taking on scientific and technological roles, even though they subsequently get good grades in these subjects. In this regard, the programme has been an improvement, since after the workshops the students have role models in these areas and their interest in science and technology has been awakened.

Group photo with mentors and those responsible for the project who participated in the symposium.

Tarragona also stands out as the region with the second largest number of participating students, schools and mentors, only surpassed by the University of Deusto in the Basque Country, which initiated the project. Next year’s plan is to have more than twenty participating schools and a thousand students, as well as more than a hundred mentors. As a novelty, high schools are to be incorporated into the project, with students from the final year of compulsory education.

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