Under the umbrella of Women and Girls pursuing STEM fields, 4ENTO got invited to participate at “Expanding your Horizons – Geneva” (EYH), their fifth biennial event for young girls. This amazing event is to encourage girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Of all the women that came before, to whom we owe their legacy and their courage to have stepped out and make a difference, I blog today, hoping to reach some of the girls (from the ages of 11 to 14 years attending the event), girls that will become great women of the future.
United Nations has declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
This will definitely help prevent girls in middle school and high school from getting discouraged when they start receiving subtle messages that math and science are for boys, is something I find LAUDABLE!
But how to make a good impression with something so misinterpreted, so unsexy and rejected like INSECTS? It is to hard to sell , when insects are something that most people fail to show any affection or concern?
YES IT IS a whole new level of a CHALLENGE!., but the rewards are so worth trying and succeeding.
In our sector of edible insects, insect-based and non-food insect products /services, we find OUTSTANDING women and ingenious young girls adopting edible insects for the purpose of their school-leaving dissertation or colleges thesis.
Growing Opportunities? Already in 2017 there were over 200 start-up companies worldwide. In a great Bugburger blogpost, you will find most of the companies, organizations and individuals who either work on an edible-insect product, are planning to deliver one or are just advocating the benefits of using insects.!!
Of course, all companies, start-ups and projects nearly always encounter hold-ups, slowing down our sector but at the same time giving an incredible opportunity for research and challenges.
Research, research, research !! YES, be it in animal welfare or consumer’s attitudes, this area has much to offer. From Health benefits, food safety, conservation management schemes, or breeding and disease management; all require multiple disciplinary approaches. In this link you can find some of the most committed universities.
When it comes to applying insects for a greater good, you will find a wide number of options, applications and disciplines which you could put to good use to make a Difference.
Some scenarios: Snack, Protein fortification, meat replacement, flour base and of course chocolates, chips, pasta, and insect protein shake are included.
But wait, it does not stop there! Why not dabble in moving away from synthetic dyes or Avoiding the increasing resistance to the insecticides and antibiotics? Is it important to you to have less chemicals which can have a negative impact on the environment? or more efficient use of by-products ? Maybe an improved treatment of waste products? or finding another approach to waste lagoons to avoid surface and groundwater contamination?
The list and challenges goes on and on…!
Thumbs-up for the ETH committee for combining fun and hands-on experiments, given by professional women in the field of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Awesome move inviting parents to participate in workshops where they will discuss ways to encourage and support their daughters to maintain an interest in STEM while at school. Special thanks to President Lorraine McDowell for having us as part of this adventure!
So, I invite you to surf on an entire world of “unthought-of” alternatives that will rock your career options!!
INSECTS an “unconventional” but fearless sector linked to most (STEM) applications!
Where there is a place for each background and personality!!
Because today’s “the same…but better and faster” will not work any more.!!
“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”
–Malala Yousafzai (17 years old Nobel Peace Prize 2014)
22 videos about great gals you might relate to at Women in science
Some interesting reading!!
The 50 Most Important Women in Science
By Kathy A. Svitil
All you need is Biology
Could insects be the food of the future? by Irene Lobato Vila
Can Eating Insects Save the World?
By Diane Fresquez, an American journalist living in Brussels. Diane writes for Zester Daily