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The ELAS Fund announces the projects selected for its 20th Project Competition, Elas nas Exatas. The result of an unprecedented partnership with the Unibanco Institute and the Carlos Chagas Foundation, the Elas nas Exatas competition aims to help reduce the impact of gender inequalities on students' career choices and access to higher education. The ELAS Fund is innovating with this initiative, expanding its activities to schools, which are a strategic space for promoting equity and transformation. This is the first time that ELAS has launched a competition focused on education and exact sciences and technologies. 
Ten projects were selected to be carried out with high school students from public schools and aimed at encouraging girls to get involved in the exact sciences and technologies, raising awareness among school management. Workshops on electrical circuits, a performance class on women scientists, training in robotics, programming with free software, the production of a webseries on the role of black women in the history of science, raising fish and vegetables using the aquaponics technique and training in the automotive field through the development of a vehicle are some of the actions planned in the approved projects. Each project will receive R$30 thousand.
Diversity of proposals and bidders 
Launched on August 3rd, the contest received 173 proposals from all over the country. Organizations from 24 states applied. We received projects from Alagoas, Amazonas, Amapá, Bahia, Ceará, Distrito Federal, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Roraima, Santa Catarina, São Paulo and Sergipe.
The profile of the applicants was also diverse. Women's groups, feminist organizations, universities, school boards, parent-teacher associations and other organizations responded to the call for projects.
"We were surprised by the large number of projects received and very excited because the issue of including girls in the exact sciences is present in Brazilian society. On the other hand, we are concerned because it seems that the exclusion of girls from these areas happens in all regions of the country, in the capitals and in the cities of the interior, and certainly points to one of the frontiers that Brazilian women need to overcome," says K.K.Verdade, executive coordinator of the ELAS Fund.
The selection committee included ELAS Fund advisors, representatives of partners Instituto Unibanco and Fundação Carlos Chagas, and a specialist in the exact sciences. The projects were assessed according to criteria such as: relevance in relation to the proposal defined by the call for proposals, suitability of the methodology, suitability of the application of resources, technical feasibility, breadth of effects on the school community, innovation, communicative actions, local social impact, promotion of dialog with society and potential for replicability.