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Talia goes to peru Felicity Muench

Student Voice 4 Change, Talia Frost-Belansky shares her story:

This week, I spoke with César Adrián, a principal from Iquitos, Peru. He is committed to inspiring young people to change the world through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering Arts, Mathematics). He told me that his students need inspiration to visualize how they can make improvements to our world. Especially for girls, he explained, because the “machismo” culture contributes to sexism and unequal opportunities.

Located in the Amazon Jungle, “Los Pulmones del Mundo” (the lungs of the world), students in Iquitos have a particularly important role in protecting and preserving the place they call home. The ongoing projects in Iquitos demonstrate how combining technological innovation with students’ creativity is driving progress and solutions:

Previously, his students worked on a project increasing awareness about recycling to reduce contamination in the Amazon River. Students created posters and artistic creations to demonstrate how materials can be reused and teach the community how to recycle. Additionally, students are learning how to use digital tools that incorporate programming and modeling to address climate issues. Courses in robotics and computer programming are excellent examples of how STEAM education can lead to creative innovations.

This week I met students participating in “The Space Program” over a video call. This group will use CubeStats (programmable satellites) to take environmental measurements (i.e., temperature, air pressure, geographic maps). Students introduced themselves and shared their motivation for participating in this project. Many described that they want to make a positive impact on the environment and gain new technological skills. I was impressed by their dedication to learning and goals for their future.

I am eager to continue hearing what these students accomplish, and I hope I can visit them in Iquitos in the future. These young people have big hopes for a better future. César Adrián is committed to building a supportive network in South America and beyond to give students the inspiration and tools to create change.


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