Wednesday afternoon, officials from the Society for Science announced the names of 66 stellar educators from across the country, including two teachers from El Paso who will receive stipends and support to help guide their students in scientific research.
Ramon Benavides of Del Valle High School and Raquel Miranda, Project Youth 4 Youth International, both received $ 3,000 as science advocates.
Throughout their one-year tenure, these dedicated advocates will encourage at least three to five students – who identify as a historically under-represented race or ethnicity in STEM – into science and engineering research and will help to register these projects in competitions.
“Our duty as advocates is to send a message of change to students, teachers, education officials and policy makers in the hope of seeing a shift in the current paradigm, thereby ensuring that under-represented students have a fair chance of succeeding in the STEM professions, ”said Benavides. .
The Advocate program uses a multilevel mentoring model, in which teachers not only mentor their students and nurture future generations of scientists and engineers, but they also mentor, learn and develop supportive relationships with each other. .
Lawyers will further develop their scientific research programs in another unusual year, connect with professionals in the scientific community, and meet like-minded faculty who value students’ genuine research and the educational opportunities offered by competitions. scientists.
“I believe that carrying out an independent scientific research project is one of the many tools available to better shape our society; it empowers students, it creates opportunities for sharing knowledge and questions; he can develop valuable links between an aspiring researcher and a potential academic / scientific institution, through mentorship and guidance, ”said Miranda.
“As a woman from a resource-limited setting in Brazil, who despite the challenges that girls of my generation have been exposed to, the ability to have grown up in STEM, gives the distinct perception of l importance for a young person to start in independent research. Now it’s time for me to give back to the society that has helped me move forward, ”she added.
To date, Advocates has supported over 4,000 students during their participation in the program, of which 3,076 students have successfully entered at least one science research competition. During the 2020-2021 cycle, approximately 80 percent of mentee students participated in science competitions at the local and / or national level.
Lawyers’ students are responsible for over 5,000 unique competition entries, with many students entering more than one competition. Ninety percent of these students are from low-income households and 70 percent are of a race or ethnicity that is under-represented in STEM.
Other Texas teachers who have been accepted into the program include:
· Laura Alberici from Barbiano, Blanson CTE High School (Houston, Texas): $ 3,000
· Dallas Bergstrom, Miller Career and Technology Center (Katy, Texas): $ 3,000
· Leslie Canon, The ATLAS Academy at Tennyson Middle School (Waco, Texas): $ 3,000
· Priscilla Martinez Fuentes, Homer Hanna Early College High School (Brownsville, Texas): $ 3,000
· Jessica Menchaca, Del Valle ISD (Del Valle, Texas): $ 3,000
For more information, visit the Society for Science webpage.