Successful STEM Event, at Universidad di Aruba

Congratulation for the seven impressive young women who set up the STEM Embassy event at the university for Aruba for the past two days. STEM subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are often thought to be intimidating and have by tradition attracted more men than women, but the StemBassadors I met at UA were all women, pushing students from the ABC islands, encouraging them to transition into a more advanced and interesting direction.

The STEM Embassy, they explained in a press conference, is a place of knowledge and resources which aims to assist our youth on the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao in their self-discovery and development in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, STEM. We organize events, spread STEM knowledge, and help create connections between professionals and students in STEM from the ABC Islands.

For the last two days they had workshops, lectures and discussions at a sold-out two-day event – only 100 spots were available and they went fast. Then on Friday evening they hosted a Stem Festival, inviting anyone interested to focus on science, technology engineering and mathematics, introducing a very educated and charming all-woman team.

The 7 student founders of the STEM Embassy, 4 from Aruba and 3 from Curacao, go to school in the Netherlands, USA and Switzerland. They are: Maia Rigot, President, currently doing her masters in Applied Physics; Syari Sinlae, Content Creator, completing a masters in Medicine & Clinical Research; Lau Garcia-Dieguez, finishing her masters in Science with a concentration on Biological Sciences; Laura Croes, Project Manager, pursuing an MSc in Electronics in Photonics; Jillian Oduber, Secretary, pursuing her masters in Space Flight; Dianthy Kock, Digital Designer, with a current focus on web and app design, in her third year of Communication & Multimedia Design and LeAnn Tromp, Educational Advisor, student-teacher at the high school in the Netherlands, in her third year of Mathematics Education.

STEM Embassy enjoyed the support of Medcare, the Universidad di Aruba, Setar, Utilities Aruba, Arubabank, Laboratorio di Servicio, ETH Zurich and NWO Spinoza Foundation.

Dr. Wever, of Laboratorio di Servicio was very excited, they report, to hear that the STEMP Embassy is encouraging interest in youths 12 to 21, sparking curiosity, building confidence and opening the door to anyone interested in a challenging professional career with a scientific slant.

Activities of the STEM Embassy and Festival included: Build your own robot (Electrical Engineering); Physics demonstration; Marine biology conservation; Coding workshop (Computer Science + Mathematics); Biology workshop: Microbiology and Agar Art; Sustainable technology workshop + challenge; Informative session on STEM studies & careers; Diversity in STEM workshop, and parent were invited to the festival to witness their children’s innovative work.

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July 23, 2022
Rona Coster