What are girls curious about when it comes to nature?
Author: Sofia Otero – University of Chile, Chile
Luz Fariña – Andean Geothermal Centre of Excellence – Universidad de Chile
Nelida Pohl – Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity – Universidad de Chile
The project “Julieta in the Land of Girls” consists mainly on an original game set for girls (age 7 to 11 year-old) that aims to awaken their desire to explore the environment through play, and expose them to a role – being a scientist – that has often been dominated by the male gender in popular culture and academia. These game sets (activity book, backpack, flashlight, collecting jar, magnifying glass, among others) where distributed freely through an online lottery. To participate, girls had to send questions about the Chilean Andes, climate, plants and animals. Over 500 questions were received -all answered by female scientists-, which lead us to an enormous information treasure: what are girls curious about when it comes to nature? With questions like: “Why does the red tide occur and what should we do to stop it”, “Why God thought of creating lakes?”, and “Why clouds float if water weights more than air?”, we explored which science topics the girls are most interested in, conducting a content analysis to identify the types of questions they ask (why, how, what would happen if), their topics of interest and risk-related and media-related concerns. The results give a clue on how to better communicate the excitement for science to girls, with an emphasis in the communication of risk-related issues. The project “Julieta in the land of girls” was created by a group of science communicator practitioners, and consisted on the creation of the game set, and a series of workshops and field trips to national reserves with girls and female scientists.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.
Presentation type: Show, tell and talk
Area of interest: Applying science communication research to practice