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Pupil in the Netherlands wins Native Awards 2020

Every year, Native Scientist Awards recognise the creativity of pupils who participate in the Native Schools workshops.

The success of Native Awards since their establishment in 2014/2015 is found in the escalation of participating pupils in the Native Schools workshops. Preceding each workshop, pupils are asked to draw a scientist and to write a sentence about what they would do if they were a scientist. All sentences and drawings are assessed at the end of the school year and the most original ones are selected by the Native Scientist team and collaborators to receive a Native Award.

Interestingly, this year 70% of the sentences and drawings were from girls and 60% of all drawings depicted women scientists, while 25% of the sentences focused on important topics, like climate change and environmental pollution.

Laura, 10 years old, who participated in a Portuguese workshop in the Netherlands won the “Best Sentence” as well as the “Best Drawing” awards.

Laura’s sentence focuses on nature and the equilibrium between humans and other animals. Laura expressed her view on biodiversity and how a deviation from this fine balance between humans and animals can affect the future of our planet. Laura believes that scientific workshops can help people to better understand nature. Laura still wants to explore her options in terms of future career, but she is certain of one thing: it will undoubtedly involve nature.

Unprecedentedly, Laura is also the winner of the “Best Drawing” award.

In her drawing, Laura captured how a scientist can work in two different ways: firstly, towards guiding others to better understand the environment we live in and the effects it imposes on nature, and secondly, towards experimenting and finding solutions to balance human progress and nature and preserve that balance. It is hard not to mention the graphical way Laura perceives the benefits of nature to people’s wellbeing as the vibrant colours depicting nature in her drawing surely are in contrast with the feeling the city life in grey delivers.

Native Scientist offered a branded tote bag and the book “Outside”, autographed by the author Maria Ana Peixe Dias, to the winner. Native Scientist co-founder Joana Moscoso says that: "Even in a year of pandemic, where a significant proportion of our work was negatively impacted as workshops had to be cancelled, we were able to deliver this programme and are excited to announce Laura as the winner for both Native Awards categories, an unprecedented feat. The moment of looking at the finalist entries and voting for the winners of Native Awards is one of my favourite times at Native Scientist. The diversity of styles, from serious to fun portraits of science, from solo scientists to scientists working in a team, or from time machines to cures for diseases, is absolutely amazing.”

About Native Scientist

Created by international migrant scientists for international migrant children, Native Scientist is a young and passionate multi-award-winning, European-wide, non-profit organisation that unites advocates for diversity and inclusion in science and education. In the classroom or beyond, Native Scientist actively engages with 200+ scientists every year, inspiring over 1,000 pupils to consider a science-related career and feel proud to use their heritage language.


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