For many students, classes related to science, technology, engineering, and math—the so-called STEM fields—can be intimidating. Stereotypes persist that you either have what it takes to succeed in these subjects, or you don’t. Period. Oscar Contreras-Villarroel grew up with a passion for science and believes most young people would feel as he does—that is, if it were taught differently.
Five years ago, the forested trail leading to the most scenic waterfall in Bogotá, Colombia, was crime-ridden and awash with waste. Today, the same area is safe and well maintained. As part of the trail, a mural, depicting two swans and a human figure enveloped in a sea of tears, calls attention to mankind’s imbalanced relationship with nature. While in 2010 people avoided the area over safety concerns, now the site attracts more than 1,500 visitors a month.