Conference paper

iNVESTIGA: Connecting the Colombian Scientific Diaspora with Secondary Schools in Colombia

According to recent studies, Latin America is the region with the highest emigration rate in the world, specially affecting the highly educated population. One of the consequences of this process is the expansion of business and scientific diasporas. Colombia has launched multiple projects trying to keep contact with its scientists working abroad, but those initiatives have suffered multiple economic and political limitations. Additionally, technology did not support correctly the processes that could help the diaspora to contribute to projects from their country of residence. However, Internet nowadays allows synchronous communication providing new interactive tools to connect people. In this work we present iNVESTIGA, a project connecting the Colombian scientific diaspora with secondary schools in Colombia using technological resources. We highlight multiple advantages, e.g. increasing students' eagerness for learning, teachers' willingness for presenting innovative materials to their students using technology, and allowing scientists to contribute to projects in their home country. We present the results of four videoconferencing sessions connecting Colombian scientists with secondary schools in Yopal, Colombia. A posterior analysis of these experiences showed that current technologies support this interaction between partners in spite of the physical distance, with great benefits for students, teachers and scientists.

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