A group of students from secondary schools in Comodoro Rivadavia, Rada Tilly and Sarmiento took part in the third edition of an open-air science camp that Pan American Energy (PAE) organizes together with Expedición Ciencia NGO, and the support of the Education Ministry from Chubut.
The camp was held between November 5th and 12th at Futalaufquen educational facilities, located in Los Alerces National Park, and was coordinated by a group of researchers, educators and specialists in nature and outdoor activities.
The initiative, which is being organized for the third consecutive year with students in Chubut, focuses on awakening, exploring and promoting the scientific and technological vocation of those students attending the penultimate year of secondary school, with the aim to encourage them to pursue university studies.
The coordinator from Horizonte Ciencia, Gabriel Gellón, explained, "A big part of the philosophy behind the camp lies in having the participants put themselves intellectually and emotionally in the shoes of those explorers and thinkers who were faced with a problem for the very first time, and had to do with the few tools they had available. This is a situation scientists face on a day-to-day basis, as does any explorer who wants to learn something new. This camp is opportunity for participants to look at science in a different way."
Gellón also noted, "Working in teams was challenging, but the balance is highly positive. The students attending the camp were able to enjoy and take part in activities related to physics, chemistry, experimental design, neurocognition, astronomy and the challenge of measurement and estimation," and added "the bond between the students and the coordinators was really strong. The students were all proactive and welcomed all the proposals, and the working environment was excellent."
After the camp, the students evaluated the experience. "I really liked all the activities, and I would do them again. They all helped me see the world from a different perspective, and I loved that," said one of the participants.
"We shared a lot of extraordinary moments; all of them were special, and I will never forget them. I loved the ideas they gave us on what to do. You can be whatever you want. Everything was so nice that it opened up my mind. The experience inspired me to take up university studies, because I was just going to finish high school," said another student.
The Head of Institutional Relations at PAE, Juan Taccari, stated, "With this camp, besides recognizing these kids' motivation, we feel we are contributing our share to encourage them to keep studying by showing them different proposals for their future. This initiative had already been deployed in Neuquén, with excellent response from the students, and in Chubut the project was also welcome. We are really pleased to have been able to implement this innovative proposal."