Last Friday we celebrated the first outreach event of the Research Centre where I work, CINVESNIÑ@S-SALTILLO. The idea of this event started last year, using the much larger Cinvesniñ@s at Mexico City, as seeding idea. The purpose of our event was to promote science and technology for kids under the age of 12 in the areas studied at Cinvestav-Saltillo: Ceramic Engineering, Metallurgy, Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing, and Sustainability of Natural Resources and Energy. With a total of 180 kids from different primary schools and 18 different activities, I sincerely hope we have started what in the future will be a long tradition of a closer interaction with society. For me at least the realization of this event had two important purposes, to get people to know the valuable work that we do, and to show colleagues the importance of this type of outreach events. I think during Cinvesniñ@s-Saltillo both points, at least to some level, were reached. Needless to say there are many things to improve, but as a first attempt I think it was a complete success. I hope next year the event will grow larger getting more schools and colleagues involved.
I finished this event with a sense of satisfaction, happiness and a lot of tiredness. I surely learned new skills and that even in events like this, politics are never far away. I also had the unfortunate experience of seeing how many schools had no interest in participating in activities like this one, showing not only indifference but even rejection, which was very worrying. Although Cinvesniñ@s-Saltillo is designed to be a yearly event, I hope we can do much more than that. I think that spending only 6-8 hours every year is hardly the right way to promote science. During the event, one public school approached asking if we could support them during their classes and made them something more than a good lecture from their books. I really hope we can follow this idea and take our things and go to their schools or communities where we could have an even larger impact. Not sure if other colleagues will support this idea but I sincerely hope they will, I know I have the full support of my wife who this year, despite not working at Cinvestav, took the lead on the activity that it was supposed to be done by me.
I doubt they read this blog but I would like to thank three other colleagues Francisco Garcia, Esther Sanchez and Keny Ordaz, particularly Keny Ordaz, who helped me in the organization of this event. Needless to say the support of the administration of the Centre and students made Cinvesniñ@s-Saltillo possible.
For more pictures of the event please visit our Facebook webpage: