Raising awareness on gender issues: a path through physics, outreach and diversity
November 18, 2022
When and where it is convenient to start working on raising awareness on gender issues? Our answer is that high school is definitely a good start, mainly if we think that outreach activities can have a role in the transition to an environment for learning, teaching and researching in physics that is equally attractive and supportive to all genders, at each stage of their education and career path. As researchers of INFN and CNR we promoted a school competition devoted to consider the role of women in science and particularly in Physics. Outreach activities can have the role of raising awareness, knowledge through an active involvement of students for changing the culture and removing stereotypes. In these years we organized 3 contests, with 226 videos, more than 100 high schools and a thousand of students involved. The idea was to try to understand the thinking and knowledge of young people on present and past gender issues connected to women and science, to know how they imagine the society of the future, to understand if they are unaware "carriers" of stereotypes and prejudices and if the cultural change can start from/with them. The students have been asked to produce a video on subjects regarding these questions. The article describes the contests, the evaluation process, the results of first analysis. The work started inside the EU-funded GENERA project, to which both research groups belong, and continues inside the GENERA Network. The collaboration among physicists and sociologists has been, and still is, fundamental in these years.
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