MIT Public Service Center

Young Talent Club, Costa Rican National Program

Ministry of Science and Technology, Costa Rican Government.
San José, Costa Rica, 19th y 17th streets, 2nd Avenue
www.micit.go.cr

Background:

The Costa Rican Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT) is collaborating with the MIT Public Service Center to address the increasing demand for highly skilled professionals in science, technology, and engineering (STEM) fields within Costa Rica.

Last summer, to encourage more high school students to pursue university degrees and careers in STEM fields, the Ministry of Science and Technology launched the nationwide Young Talent Club (Club de Talento Joven). MIT students played a key role in planning and implementing the program.

Club de Talento Joven is a national program for talented high school students who are participants in science fairs and academic jousts. Club de Talento Joven offers an informal but intensive science and technology boot camp that keeps high schoolers engaged in STEM subjects and excited about stem careers. You can learn more on the Club’s Facebook page and in these blog posts from one of the MIT students who helped implement the bootcamps in 2011.

The Challenge

Last summer’s pilot program was a real success, with MICIT, MIT students, and local Costa Rican university students pulling together to plan and teach modules, mentor the students, make some hectic logistics work out, and generally get an enormous amount done while having a lot of fun.

The challenge for this summer is to build on that success, developing new modules and camp features while also working to make the camps sustainable and easier to implement. We welcome MIT students with experience in all STEM fields, and are looking for people who will work hard to make the camps a success while also sharing their excitement for science and technology with some energetic high school students.

The focus of this project will be on building capacity for the High School STEM Talent Clubs and related activities. The summer Fellows will participate directly in the science and technology camps, but will also be tasked with helping to build organizational resources, share knowledge from their experiences at MIT and elsewhere, and generally focus on sustainable success for the program.

Qualifications, Preferences, and Assets

Skills required:

  1. At least intermediate Spanish
  2. Experience working with youth
  3. A strong background in science and technology
  4. Ideally, experience participating in and/or helping with science fairs, robotics programs, math Olympiads, or other hands-on science and technology education programs

Time constraints

Information for summer 2013 is forthcoming.

Contacts

Alejandro Hernández Soto, M.Sc.
Ministry of Science and Technology – Costa Rica
5589-1000 San José-Costa Rica
(506)22481515 ext 177
alejandro.hernandez@micit.go.cr

PSC Support

MIT students who develop projects around these ideas may apply for support from the Public Service Center's Fellowships progam. You will first need to contact the community partners in Costa Rica to develop your plans.

If you want to volunteer or you have funding from outside the PSC that enables you to work on this project, that's great! However, please do let us know if you work on a project you saw advertised here, even if you don't use our funds. And remember, the PSC staff are happy to advise on service projects even if we are not funding them ourselves.

 
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