On April 22, the first Stem Looping of the Eco Stem Girls project, from CETENMA, was held in Cartagena. During the day, ten scientific women from the Region of Murcia, as part of the ECO-STEM women’s network of the Region, interacted with 100 fifth-grade students to publicize and promote the role of women in science.
At CETEC we are proud to have several of these Eco Stem Girls among the staff. One of them is Lupe León, who participated directly in the event to talk about her scientific career to the students, among other things.
upPE-T and the role of recycling as a stimulator of STEM careers
STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math: that is, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM careers are all those that include skills and knowledge in any of these disciplines and the representative female figures, although very important, have traditionally been more unknown than the male ones.
For this reason, it is necessary to visualize scientific women, especially current ones, who are capable of representing and stimulating the vocation for these disciplines. That is the essential objective of the Eco Stem Girls project, from CETENMA, to allow students to have the opportunity to meet, in the first person, women who can be a reference.
In the case of Lupe, and CETEC, the opportunity came from upPE-T, an initiative whose purpose is to provide an innovative solution for the recycling of post-consumer PE and PET packaging waste, transforming it into a range of biodegradable bioplastics and recyclables (PHBV) for the manufacture of food and beverage containers.
Both for the objective and for the needs of the upPE-T, the project is a great example, and Lupe, who is a researcher in it, is a benchmark of what biotechnology and the most cutting-edge science can achieve. “Every 10 minutes we changed tables, I carried the poster of the upPE-T project”, explains the scientist about the day.
“I spoke to the girls and boys about the recycling of plastics and biotechnology applied to this topic. I told them a little about my scientific career, from my doctoral thesis, through the postdoc in the United Kingdom, where I worked investigating the effects of climate change on plants, until my return to Spain. I also told them that my work at CETEC helps to change the paradigm in society, where we are evolving to a circular economy model, where waste is transformed into resources to be used again”.