Sergey Tokarev: At She is Science, more than $40,000 was raised for participants’ education

On June 10, 2021, the She is Science project organizers hosted a charitable event in Kyiv. Finalists of the best 12 works about Ukrainian female scientists were to be awarded at the ceremony. In addition, the charity auction took place at the event, which allowed to raise funds for the education of winners. Sergey Tokarev, an initiator of the She is Science project, a founder of the PAWA venture studio and the Roosh Tech company, commented on the project’s core concept, the results of the charity auction, and its future objectives.

The entire project went through two significant stages. The first one was supported by the STEM is FEM charitable educational organization. They provided an art gallery of paintings which start was in February. Sergey Tokarev noticed that plain content about remarkable women scientists would not attract many people to get engaged in it. That is why the visual component in the project played a crucial part and underlaid the concept of the project. Thus, the organizers created 12 portraits of prominent Ukrainian female scientists, including modern young and historical figures. Among scientists of modern times were ornithologist Natalia Atamas and mathematician Maryna Viazovska. Among historical heroines were programmer Kateryna Yushchenko and physicist Olha Perevozchikova. Such an approach helped engage as many people as possible to delve into the women’s presence and influence on science.

Another part of the competition involved writing essays about the heroines displayed on portraits. The project organizers offered a limit in participants’ age from 14 to 21. Accordingly, they were to write about female scientists’ achievements and contributions to science and society in Ukraine. But most of all, they were guided to convey their perception of the heroines and explain why and how the women scientists can inspire others. As a result, 561 essays were written and delivered to the special committee for estimating and determining the best 12. Some of the essays were sent from abroad that confirmed the international interest in this project. Sergey Tokarev believed that it was a good experience for contesters whose writings did not get the final as well. He hoped it would be a good motivation to enhance their writing and grow in the sciences they wrote about.

Grand Prix winner announced

June 10 was memorable, especially for 12 finalists. They got awards they deserved, and the winner of the project was announced who won the Grand Prix. It was a finalist from Kyiv, Anastasia Suvorova. Her essay about ornithologist Natalia Atamas impressed a lot and was determined to be called the winner essay in the She is Science project. Thus, Anastasia Suvorova received a grant for education of $35,900. This prize combined $4,000 provided by the project organizers and $31,900 raised at the charity auction. Sergey Tokarev noticed that other people and unique items made the entire event wonderfully orchestrated. It was owing to various decoration items and surprising contributions from project partners and special guests as well.

First Lady attendance, international commitment

The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, attended the event. She encouraged young women to promote gender equality in science and create an inclusive society. In addition, other respectful people were present at the awarding ceremony: diplomats from Sweden, France, and Denmark, and representatives of globally recognized organizations like NATO, UN, and other senior guests.

Sergey Tokarev shared the plans they have for the project to succeed. They aim to offer exhibitions across the country. It involves 12 paintings and, respectively, 12 essays about female scientists reflected on paintings. The first exhibition is open to visiting now in the art space Kooperative in Kyiv until June 24. Then, the project organizers are to move to other cities as Mariupol, Zaporizhzhia, and Kryvyi Rih.