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Native Scientist and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

By promoting science and language education through science outreach, Native Scientist contributes to The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Native Scientist’s programmes deliver a unique combination of STEM+Language education to migrant children across Europe, as well as provide science communication opportunities and outreach training to international scientists. Our work (see our strategic plan for 2020-2025 here) directly contributes to 5 of the 17 goals:

4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. We believe that school performance and career prospects should not be determined by whether a child is a migrant or not. Since foreign-born students are twice more likely to leave school each year, it is crucial to target migrant pupils in order to tackle inequalities worldwide. Hence, our programmes address inclusion and diversity through science outreach by promoting experiences with effective learning outcomes to migrant children: 90% the pupils liked “a lot” and 71% of the pupils learned “a lot” at our workshops in 2018/19.

5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. We are committed to promoting diversity in science and education so that everyone can reach their full potential regardless of their background. In our workshops, 76% of scientists participating are women (unpublished data). With such role models, pupils - and especially girls - are shown that women can aspire to and succeed in all types of careers.

8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. The demand for STEM talent is predicted to grow in the next decades. Through Native Scientist’s practices of role modeling, our scientists inspire students to consider higher education and careers that will require science-related skills, from critical thinking to creativity.

10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries. Our mission and programmes aim at the integration of migrant children in their host communities, by contributing to their education, development and aspirations. The Native Schools programme, for example, takes scientists to schools, helping children from ethnic minorities and/or migrant backgrounds develop high aspirations and positive attitudes to science and language. A survey we conducted with pupils participating in our workshops (unpublished data) shows that 2 in 3 pupils feel prouder of speaking more than one language.

17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development. We deal with societal problems of global impact, thus we actively seek to involve in our work different stakeholders, ranging from governments and universities to organizations and schools, in order to spread the message and engage in them for long-term Impact.

In fact, Native Scientist’s mission goes beyond these direct contributions to the SDGs: all the work we develop together with scientists, based on role-model interactions with migrant children, directly and indirectly lead to many other relevant outcomes, which are critical for a sustainable society. Some of those outcomes relate to scientists, such as the acquisition of science communication skills and the increased networking opportunities; others relate to children and include the development of knowledge and positive attitudes towards science and language diversity. All of those also contribute to the following goals:

Joana Moscoso, the co-founder of Native Scientist, states: “we organise workshops with scientists for children because we believe no child should leave school without ever meeting a scientist.”

At Native Scientist, we help drive social change and we advocate for a future where both girls and boys realize that becoming a scientist is a real viable option for them, where scientists and employers perceive science communication as an asset, and where society accepts and celebrates multilingualism and multiculturalism, rather than marginalising it.

Together we keep fostering a better and more inclusive world.


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