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Pupil in the Netherlands wins Native Awards 2022

The Native Awards challenge, running for 10 years now, is a prosperous scheme popular among pupils and undoubtedly highlighting their creativity.

The science workshops of our programme with migrant communities are attended by pupils and scientists who speak a common heritage language. Before these workshops pupils have the opportunity to draw “what a scientist is” based on their understanding as well as to imagine and write “what they would do, if they were a scientist”. Before the new school year starts, the drawings and sentences are collected and reviewed by the Awards Manager and the Native Scientists Director, and a selection of the most original ones enters the Native Scientists Best Drawing and Native Scientists Best Sentence voting contest. The winners emerge after voting from the whole team of Native Scientists is collected.

In the school year 2021/2022, the drawings represented equally women and men scientists. Moreover, the majority of the sentences had a more exploratory and/or fun tone instead.

The Native Awards 2022 voting acknowledged one pupil as the winner for both the “Best Sentence” and “Best Drawing” categories.

Our 2022 Native Awards winner is 10 years old Julia from The Hague in the Netherlands, where she attended a Portuguese workshop.

Julia’s sentence shows creativity focusing on one of the global problems of our times, not only for our nature but also for people’s health.

Julia has a profound interest for the environment and has clearly wasted no time to imagine what “she would do if she was a scientist”. Through her winning drawing, she further acknowledges that there are scientists working on cleaning the air for the improvement of life around the world.

Julia enjoyed the workshop and found super fun the extraction of DNA from strawberries. Although it is clear that Julia is a sensitive person, caring for the environment and wanting to help others, she does not see herself as a scientist in the future. Julia instead would like to focus on art and paint beautiful landscapes and portraits. What better way is there to do so, when the environment is clean, making her paintings of landscapes as vibrant as ever and of portraits of people smiling as their lives can be enjoyed to the maximum when the air is cleaner?

Julia with the prizes surrounded by her teacher and the workshop’s coordinator Luiz Lima

The winners received the book “Outside”, autographed by the author Maria Ana Peixe Dias and Inês Teixeira do Rosario. Native Scientists Director Joana Moscoso: "Congratulations to Julia for winning the two categories. It is a grand achievement for a student to win the prize for the two categories. The moment of looking at the entries for the Native Awards is one of my favourites at Native Scientists. It’s both enlightening and fun. Besides congratulating the winner, I would also like to acknowledge the effort from everyone involved in this endeavour, especially the Coordinators, the Awards Manager, the teachers, and, of course, the students and their parents.”

About Native Scientists

Native Scientists connect children and scientists to promote science literacy and reduce inequalities. In the classroom or beyond, Native Scientists actively engage with 250+ scientists every year, inspiring over 1,200 pupils to consider science and higher education. With the Same Migrant Community programme, scientists and children with a common cultural background are connected to talk about science in their heritage language.


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