The BSC programme 'We are Young Researchers', awarded the Catalonian National Research Award for scientific communication

26 April 2022

More than 13,000 students have participated in this activity, aimed at third and fourth grade students.

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) has been awarded the Catalonian National Research Award for scientific communication for the project "We are Young Researchers". The Generalitat de Catalunya and the Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació (FCRI) have recognized the work of the BSC to make STEM areas attractive for middle school students, with special emphasis on girls, thus contributing to reduce the gender gap in these fields.

The 'We are Young Researchers' programme was launched in the 2018-2019 academic year in collaboration with Barcelona Activa. Its main activity is the guided tours to MareNostrum, which are prepared for children between 8 ad 10 years. Since then the activity has already brought together more than 13,000 students. The aim of the initiative is not only to attract the attention of female students between the ages of 8 and 10 towards science and technology, but also to collaborate in the creation of female role models in STEM areas and to train primary school teachers in computational thinking.

Several studies suggest that the lower presence of girls in STEM careers is based in girls' lack of belief in their STEM ability. There id also the idea STEM studies are difficult and are more typical of the male gender and that this is not a professional outlet for them.

Female-focused tours for primary schools

With these visits included in the programme, children can understand what it means to program and give instructions to a computer, play at simulating the seabed and test the advantages of parallel calculation, which is the method used by supercomputers to obtain results more quickly. They also discover the importance of data to understand our environment, connectivity and energy efficiency.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative was digitized to be able to carry it out both in the BSC facilities and in schools. Currently the center offers the activity under four modalities: face-to-face at the BSC facilities, face-to-face in the classrooms, telematically (with online support from the educators) and by teachers based on the content available on the BSC website.

Teachers interested in having their classroom participate in the visits can send an email to