To inspire the next generation of women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science with a weeklong campaign titled “Inspíralas” (Inspire Them) from February 8-12, during which we shared the stories and voices of extraordinary women who have contributed to this critical field.
The campaign aimed to address the gender disparity in STEM education and professional careers and featured a Facebook Live conversation with Boeing Aerospace Engineer Brenda Izasa. Originally from Colombia, Isaza is part of the team working on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA. When completed, SLS will enable astronauts to begin their journey to explore destinations far into the solar system.
“Never let anyone put out the flame that you have within. If STEM is your dream and your passion, follow through with it no matter what others say. If it fulfills you and it is all you think about from the moment you wake up, you will achieve your dreams,” said Isaza.
“Congratulations to PADF for fueling the interest of girls in science, and to Brenda Isaza for being a role model for girls and bringing them closer to STEM,” said a participant of the live discussion.
Less than 30 percent of STEM researchers are women, according to a report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Institute for Statistics. PADF works to close this gap by sparking the interest of girls in science and technology and promoting hands-on learning through our innovative STEM Americas program. To help build the next generation of leaders in science, we train teachers and develop stimulating lesson plans that ignite curiosity and engage students in creative ways.
STEM Americas was launched in 2016, in response to the increasing importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to the economies of Latin America. The Boeing Company is the proud sponsor of this initiative, now active in 10 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
Facebook Live with Boeing Aerospace Engineer Brenda Izasa
Quick video commentary from Latin American women in science (videos are in Spanish):
For posters and images of Latin American women in the STEM field, please visit our Resources page.