XVIII Encuentro Internacional Virtual Educa – Colombia 2017

Scientists for Tomorrow participated in the XVIII Encuentro Internacional Virtual Educa – Colombia 2017

Our initiative, Scientists for Tomorrow, represented by Marcelo Caplan, Associate Professor in the Science and Mathematics department at Columbia College Chicago, participated in the XVIII Encuentro Internacional Virtual Educa – Colombia 2017. The international conference organized by the Organization of American States (OEA) took place in Bogota, Colombia between June 13-16, 2017 and had more than 29,000 participants; 542 presentations; and 13 dedicated classrooms for hands-on workshops – where more than 102 workshops took place.

Marcelo was invited to be part of the II Foro Desarrollos Technologicos Makers – Ambientes de Aprendizaje para el siglo XXI (Forum Technological Developments Makers – Learning Environments for the 21st Century). Marcelo participated in three forums:

  • Inaugural plenary (Tuesday June 13, 2017 at 11:00 am),
  • STEM/STEAM Education: approaches and methodologies for the development of competences (Wednesday June 14, 2017 at  9:00 am)
  • Computational Thinking: Developing Experiences for the 21st Century – Digital Classrooms and Networking Services for Computer Language Learning (Wednesday June 14, 2:00 pm)

In this capacity, Marcelo was also invited to participate in the Plenary Session organized by Jorge Restreto – Retos de la Educacion en la Cuarta Revolucion Industrial – Challenges for the Education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Wednesday June 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm). After an introduction of 35 min, the panelists, Marcelo Caplan (Columbia College Chicago), Aaron Cortes (Northeastern Illinois University) and Alberto Bustamante (Microsoft Director of Education – Latin America) answered many questions on this topic from the moderator as well as the public. This plenary session was recorded and published on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-6JGuA7Xlw&t=39s

In addition, Marcelo worked hard with colleagues from the EducaSTEAM network in Colombia to setup the first Laboratorio STEAM de las Americas, an enterprise that included many experts from the entire continent (from Chile to USA). The main goal of this laboratory is to bring to Virtual Educa innovative experiences in the area of learning and teaching STEM/STEAM in the classroom or outside of the frame of formal education. Securing two classrooms at the conference, this initiative presented more than 30 hands-on workshops serving more than 1750 participants

On Thursday June 15, Marcelo presented two workshops for participants at the event. The large majority were Colombian teachers eager to learn how to bring STEAM alive in their classrooms. The first workshop (Thursday June 15, 9:00 am) was Pocket Robotics, and the second workshop (Thursday June 15, 2:00pm) was building a solar cart. Both workshops were full with more than 70  people learning and sharing in each of the two sessions. During this workshops Marcelo introduced the way Scientists for Tomorrow promotes STEAM in the communities through the Out of School Time (OST) activities in Communities Based Organizations (CBOs).

Full Report. pdf