Chilean students apply for funding to develop science projects

A call is out for school kids between the ages of 11 – 17 to submit their applications for a competition to receive government funding for a six-month development programme. Around 150 proposals will receive support, selected according to their ability to generate “scientific knowledge” in the community, or for the development of new technology.


Chilean students are being given the chance to win funding for a science project through a new government initiative.

Chile’s National Comission for Scientific Research and Technology (Conicyt) launched the Explora programme to promote scientific participation among the community and particularly in schools. The idea is to offer hard-working students an incentive to push on with their ideas, said José Santiago Arellano, director of the programme.

«With this competition we hope to generate more capacity, interest and scientific and technological competence in the school community, complementary to the curriculum,»  Arellano told Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

Students will work in groups of six to ten and receive guidance from a teacher. Using the scientific method of developing a hypothesis with research, the teams will either develop a project geared toward generating “scientific knowledge” or on developing new technology.

According to Explora, the scientific investigation should be done over a six-month period. The 150 projects selected for funding will also go on display at a regional school congress on science and technology in 2011.

The deadline for students to submit their idea is Nov. 22.

The project is one of many launched in schools by Explora, including its seven-day National week of science and technology and “Science Day at my School,” a day dedicated to the field that includes fairs, debate or exhibitions.