- Iberdrola México and the Government of Oaxaca awarded university scholarships to promote the development of the young people in the state
- Impulso STEM (STEM Boost) is a program with gender perspective oriented to encourage the study of scientific, technological, engineering and mathematics programs
Oaxaca, August 24, 2021. ─ Today, Iberdrola México and the Government of Oaxaca awarded 20 scholarships within the second edition of the Impulso STEM (STEM Boost), a program carried out in partnership with the Universidad de los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca (UTVCO) and the Institute for Renewable Energy (IER) of the National Autonomous University (UNAM) aimed at promoting training of young people, mainly women, in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
During a ceremony held in the capital of Oaxaca, the State Governor, Alejandro Murat, and the CEO of Iberdrola México, Enrique Alba, granted a recognition to the scholarship winners, who were chosen from among more than 150 young people who participated in the call.
“The most powerful thing a society can have is knowledge. If you have knowledge, you can transform your reality”, said the State Governor to the young students while highlighting the importance of training young people for the sustainable development of Oaxaca. “Because it is useless to know that there is an organic economy if nobody knows how to apply it in Oaxaca. The technological revolution is of no use if no one knows how to program in our state. Today you will have that power, thanks to your effort and Iberdrola’s support”, he pointed out.
Also, the CEO of Iberdrola México explained that “the fact that everybody has access to education helps to narrow the gender gap and to drive community development. Therefore, at Iberdrola México we have endeavored to encourage the study of STEM courses in the South-Southeast, since we seek not only to contribute to the wellbeing of the communities in which we operate, but also to create more opportunities for young people”, Enrique Alba stressed.
It is worth to mention that this year scholarship students will study the Sustainable and Protected Agriculture, Renewable Energies, Information Technology, Mechatronics and Bio-food Technologies programs at the UTVCO, and they join the 19 winners of the 2020 call, one of whom is studying at the Technological Institute of Tlaxiaco.
“Winning this scholarship has been a great achievement. Now, I have the possibility of studying engineering, a field in which women are not always given the opportunity to demonstrate everything we can achieve. Also, the technological innovation in agriculture is very important for a state where 50% of the economy relies on agriculture “said Nancy Díaz, who will study the Sustainable and Protected Agriculture program with the goal of contributing to improve the quality of life of her family who is engaged in growing vegetables.
The importance of gender perspective present in the design of this Program lies on the fact that STEM programs have traditionally been studied by men. According to UNESCO, only 35% of STEM students are women worldwide and, at the UNAM, that figure falls to 19%.
However, thanks to initiatives such as that of Iberdrola and the Government of Oaxaca, the trend is changing and, in the case of the Renewable Energy Engineering of the IER-UNAM, some generations have been made up of 50% women and 50% men. This also allows us as a society to face the challenges of the Sustainable Development Agenda.
In turn, the General Coordinator of High School and Higher Education, Science and Technology, Francisco Márquez Méndez, said that “the bond with Iberdrola México and the Institute of Renewable Energies of the Autonomous University of Mexico represents an essential synergy in the educational task, in the face of the challenge of training young people able to transform the reality of Oaxaca and consolidate the significant progress being made in terms of infrastructure and achievements like being one of the entities where poverty has decreased at a greater rate and household income has grown more.”
With an investment of 15 million pesos, Impulso STEM (STEM Boost) seeks to impact at least one hundred public schools and more than 12 thousand students in the Central Valleys region and the Isthmus of Oaxaca, through various lines of action that will allow us to better meet the needs of the labor market and increase the state’s productivity and competitiveness.
These lines of action are the award of 100 scholarships for young people in Oaxaca to study STEM programs; the training of teachers and guidance counselors to optimize how they transfer knowledge on science and technology; the development of STEM courses for elementary and high school education; as well as communication campaigns to encourage above all women to study engineering.
In addition to Impulso STEM, Iberdrola México is making progress in the implementation of ambitious social projects in Oaxaca, which total an investment of over 150 million pesos, including Construir para Educar (Build to Educate), aimed at rebuilding schools damaged by the 2017 earthquakes, and the Luces de Esperanza (Lights of Hope) program geared to bringing electricity to rural communities.
Also present at the event were Ms. Nydia Delhi Mata Sánchez, Rector of the Universidad Tecnológica de los Valles de Oaxaca, and the Secretary of the Environment, Renewable Energies and Sustainable Development, Ms. Helena Iturribarría Rojas.