“My Friend Chemistry!"-Promoting chemistry and the profession of chemist while reducing the gender gap in STEM

15--03-2023 by CSCI

In the Region of Piedmont (Italy), the Consortium CSCI, Partner of the CIRCLE-LAB project, collaborates with IBIS “Innovative Bio-based and Sustainable products and processes”, which is a regional Cluster of green chemicals companies, and an Associate Partner of CIRCLE-LAB.

On the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, IBIS supported “Novara Sviluppo” Foundation in organizing the Scientific Lab “My Friend Chemistry!” aimed at primary school students. The Lab was conducted by university researchers and was focused on chemical, physical and biological concepts already addressed in the curriculum, such as the nature of colours, through hands-on experiments.

There is in fact a strong need for innovation in Chemistry teaching-learning processes through the introduction of more practical, real-world, problem-based projects and a system-thinking pedagogy, as proposed by CSCI, which led the CIRCLE-LAB Training Program for Chemistry Teachers.

“My friend Chemistry!” is run every year in Novara and is intended to promote Chemistry and STEM subjects among students, and to illustrate the Chemist’s Profession. The benefit of this initiative is twofold: fostering participation in STEM Education and reducing the gender gap in Science. Indeed in Italy only 24.5% of young people choose to pursue tertiary education in STEM, despite the growing demand for specialized STEM-focused workforce.

This gap pairs with another gap concerning gender inequalities in educational opportunities. The percentage of Italian girls in STEM Higher Education barely reaches 15% (Eurostat, 2019).

CSCI and IBIS are fully committed to enhancing Chemistry Education, providing teachers with new contents and methods on green sustainable and circular chemistry, and boosting gender equality in education.