Scientific initiation influences youths
It was in Clube do Pesquisador Mirim (Young Researcher Club), an initiative by Emilio Goeldi Museum in Pará supported by Instituto TIM, that the environmental scientist Cesar Silva began his career as a researcher. At the time, he was 11 years old and was taking his first steps in scientific initiation, during one of the first activities of the project. Today, aged 26, he has a scholarship from the Museum, where he works with visiting children to demystify the animals they’re usually afraid of – such as spiders and snakes.
After Clube do Pesquisador Mirim, where he was a participant and a scholar, Cesar studied Environmental Science at university. He returned, aged 18, to be an apprentice at Goeldi Museum. “Scientific initiation has directly influenced my choice of career,” he explains. After graduating, he was invited to return once again with a training scholarship, to carry out scientific projects. “I’ve been at the Goeldi Museum for 16 years. Even when I didn’t work or study at the institution, I continued to visit and perform research. It’s as if I never left this place,” he says.
According to the head of the Museum’s Educational service and coordinator of Clube do Pesquisador Mirim, Luiz Videira, ex-participants tend to come back as scholars, apprentices or even to carry out research in Zoology in partnership with the Federal University of Pará. “A great many former Young Researchers say how important the Club was to their lives. Taking part in it is an early way to awaken, or not, their calling,” he explains.
Clube do Pesquisador Mirim is an educational activity that has been around for 17 years. It brings together 140 students, aged 9 to 14, divided into 7 groups, to perform field research in the Zoo Botanical Park at the museum, go on field trips and produce material on the studies performed. Each group receives a theme and carries out activities based on that theme. The exercises are done over the course of a year.