Inspiring Women in Science

In partnership with the Estée Lauder Companies.

Illustration by Sam Falconer.

Illustration by Sam Falconer.


Applications are now closed

Applications are now closed for the Nature Awards for Inspiring Women in Science. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of September, and check back in with us in October to meet the winners.

Where are they now: Tem Menina no Circuito

In October 2022, we were thrilled to announce Tem Menina no Circuito as the winners of our Science Outreach prize.

Based in Brazil, Tem Menina no Circuito empowers school-age girls to engage with STEM through a combination of hands-on experiments, field trips, and talks from female researchers.

Now, a year on from winning the award, we are excited to share an update from one of the founders Thereza Paiva on what they have been up to: how the award has impacted their activities, and what more they have planned for 2024 and beyond.

"It’s been a wonderful and very busy year since we won the Nature Awards for Inspiring Women in Science in 2022!  

Winning the award made the national news in Brazil, with pieces of the award ceremony broadcast countrywide and additional coverage for Tem Menina no Circuito in newspapers, radio and science blogs. We’ve been invited to give talks, have been a panelist at the World Conference of Science Journalists, and have mediated round tables on Girls in Science organized by the United Nations’s Global Pact in Brazil at Petrobras and at the Rio Innovation Week.

The Tem Menina no Circuito team pose in front of a building

In October 2022, we hosted a week of events during the National Week of Science and technology. With hands-on experiments and talks, we reached 1,500 students from low-income schools across the week. For Science Week in 2023, we opened our exposition “Check it out, it's all about women in Physics” to mark 10 years of Tem Menina no Circuito and 35 years of the Interactive Museum of Physics (LADIF). This is open to the public until June 2024 at Casa da Ciência, and the museum expects 30,000 visitors! 

Girls in a hall watch a lecture delivered by Lia Medeiros

In November, we visited the historic city of Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais to host an outreach event celebrating the 10th anniversary of Tem Menina no Circuito. Being award winners really helped - we visited three schools, talked to school principals, and were even stopped on the street by an elderly lady who very happily told us she knew who we were and what we were up to! The award money helped make a larger event in May 2023 where we interacted with students via hands-on activities and experiments. This was a great opportunity for us to talk with many female researchers about what we do, and we hope they can start similar initiatives. 

With the help of the award, we had the funds to move our LabMaker to the new Physics Institute building. Our new lab is 4 times bigger than our old one! We have hosted several events, including a very engaging talk from Deputy Physics Coordinator of LHCb at CERN, Carla Göbel on particle physics and career choices. 

We have also reached out to Lia Medeiros and Natalia Mota, previous finalists from the Scientific Achievement category in the IWIS award. Lia kindly agreed to give a talk on the First Image of Black Holes to a group of 120 girls and became an instant hit. Natalia has relocated to Rio and does amazing research analyzing speech and speech markers. We have longer term plans with her and are really excited about collaborating further with her.

The Tem Menina no Circuito team pose in a classroom with some girls

We have already started planning next year’s activities. We hired a designer to improve our media pages and make a new website to launch our new visual identity. Besides our regular activities in schools and preparation classes for senior high school girls, we are planning new activities. In the spring of 2024, we will have our first camp: a weekend of activities in the countryside with 50 girls. We are also working on an activity book that will be made available online for high-school teachers and faculty from other universities."

- Thereza Paiva, Co-Founder Tem Menina no Circuito

To find out more about Tem Menina no Circuito, visit their website, or follow them on Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, or YouTube.