Every year, the Native Scientist Awards recognise the creativity of pupils that participate in our school workshops.
Launched in 2014/2015, the Native Awards have been a huge success, with an increasing number of pupils submitting their work for our evaluation. Before each Native Scientist workshop, pupils are given a worksheet where we asked them to draw what a scientist is for them and to imagine and write a sentence of what they would do if they were a scientist. At the end of each school year, Native Scientist shortlists five entries for the “Best Sentence” category and five entries for the “Best Drawing” category. Then, our team of 20-30 collaborators votes for the favourite entries and the two entries with more votes for each category win the award.
This year, Linda van Beem, 10 years old, who participated in a Portuguese workshop in the Netherlands won the “Best Sentence” Award.
Linda captured very well one of the missions that scientists have, which is to solve some of the biggest problems that humanity faces, like famine. Linda told us that she loves babies and wants to work as a nurse in maternity care when she grows up.
The “Best Drawing” belongs to Gabriela Mir, 11 years old, who participated in a Spanish workshop in the UK. Gabriela found the workshop “very interesting, learning how science can change people’s lives for the better, and discovering more on how to change the world.” When she grows up, she wants to be a bioengineer and work with stem cells.
In her drawing, Gabriela shows how scientists do not work in isolation, as often thought! They work in close collaboration with their colleagues to share their ideas and always keep an open mind.
Prizes consisted of a branded tote bag and the book “Outside” autographed by Maria Ana Peixe Dias. Our co-founder Joana says that: "Every year I am blown away by the quality and richness of entries in our competition. With over 1000 pupils participating in our workshops every year and an engagement in the competition above 60%, it is with great excitement that Linda and Gabriela are presented as winners of the Native Awards 2018".
Linda's sentence picks up on a long-standing concept, the time machine, and adds a humanitarian dimension to it, reminding us of the true essence of science.
Gabriela's drawing depicts scientists and the different fields of science with the precision and vocabulary of a true expert. When you dive into the details of the drawing, it feels like she is a scientist already and it's impossible not to reflect on the attributes of scientists, as innovators and sharers of knowledge.
Native Scientist is a non-profit organisation based in the UK that develops and implements projects aimed at promoting science and language literacy among migrants and through role model interaction. Founded in 2013, it reaches over 1000 pupils a year and counts with a network of 800+ international scientists in Europe. You can see here the winners of the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Native Awards.