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Catherine Paola Sánchez García

Undergraduate student

Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas

And - Science Communicator

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Ask as many questions as you can, dream big and go for your goals!

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

Currently, I’m a student at Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas where I’m pursuing physics. Also, I’m a science communicator; I’m a cofounder of the group called Ciencia Juvenil Mexicana, where we create new ways of approaching science in a creative and informative formats. In CJM we organize conferences, public talks, workshops, dynamic and visual materials like infographics to explain concepts of STEAM areas.

Additionally, I’m collaborating with other associations to communicate science, some of them including WiN MX (Women in Nuclear Mexico), Women Leaders in STEAM by the U.S. - Mexico Leaders Network, CONJUVECyH Chiapas, RENADICYT MX (Red Nacional de Divulgadores de la Ciencia y Tecnología México).

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

When I was in Middle School, I had an amazing Chemistry teacher, he always answers all of my questions and encouraged me to do a lot more. One day, in our daily Q&A meeting, I asked him what's the empty space, so he explained to me that the empty space that I usually knew it's not the really empty space, there are some virtual particles in there, I was astonished by that. Therefore, I started searching about those kinds of particles and quantum stuff. At that moment I decided to study Physics.

One thing led to another that I found a research center here in Mexico that study some Physics and Astronomy, it was the INAOE. Luckily there was an opportunity to visit the INAOE facilities and meet with researchers, so I send my application and the accepted me with 30 students more! It was the best week of my life. I enjoyed every moment I was there. I learned more about Quantum Mechanics, Optics and also Astronomy. If I was already passionate about these topics before, have gone there made me feel in love with science. I met incredible people there, and one night, our last night, in our talking, the idea to create a group to communicate science around Mexico was forming, we were very excited by the idea. So, at that moment, CJM was born, and the adventure of communicating the science in our country begins.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

I ask myself, “What would Marie Curie do?”

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

When I was younger, I would’ve never thought I might be working in a STEM career, especially Physics. I was good at Math and Science, but I had always undervalued myself and my abilities, so thinking about pursuing STEM was not an option, and that’s why I missed many opportunities.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

Working in STEM gives the opportunity to be part of bright new future. It makes me able to constantly challenge my knowledge every single day, and allow me to be creative and curious, you don't know what incredible discover you can find! Also, it makes you reflect how vast the knowledge is. It's exciting to be capable of learning and comprehend more about our universe, but even ourselves.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Science is the path to answers, but curiosity is the guide that leads to them. So go on and ask as many questions as you can, dream big and go for your goals! Let your curiosity be the guide to know the universe we live in, try everything you always want to do but were too scared to pursue. Learn from your failures, failure is not a bad thing, it a step to the process of success.

INSPIRATION

"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge." (Carl Sagan, 1934-1996)