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News | Education 22.07.2015
Experimento in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
In Cusco, in the middle of the Peruvian Andes near the famous city of Machu Picchu, a rainbow highlights a remarkable educational and integral support project for children. It is here that Dutch national Helena Van Engelen was able, with constancy and perseverance, to set up the “Fundación Niños del Arco Iris Cusco-Perú” (“Cusco-Perú Rainbow Kids Foundation”) to improve the quality of life for the inhabitants of the province and the valley of Urubamba. The project only admits children living in extreme poverty. Today 130 children aged 6 to 12 years are fostered, mainly Quechua living in this region steeped in the history of the Inca kingdom. The “Fundación Niños del Arco Iris”, which receives financial support from the Dutch foundation Kuychi, is nowadays a leading example of integral support projects.
Most recently, Siemens Stiftung is present at Urubamba with its educational program Experimento, which is implemented at the school of the Rainbow Kids Foundation. The proposal to launch Experimento was roundly accepted by the head teacher. The local implementation is conducted by the Instituto Apoyo which inserted the educational project "Matemáticas para Todos” (“Maths for All”) three years ago.
Head teacher, teaching staff and the representatives of the foundation are most enthusiastic about Experimento. The representative of the Fundación Niños del Arco Iris, Juan Bautista Sánchez, stressed that "during the implementation phase, we observed a great deal of expectation amongst the students in relation to the work area, to apply the experiments, to investigate, and to become little scientists, and the teachers are also keen to keep learning."
Experimento has been developed by educationalists for use in preschools, elementary schools, and secondary schools. It offers teachers and educators a practical and curriculum-oriented selection of topics in the areas of energy, health, and environment. Seminars developed especially for that purpose provide educators with the relevant expertise in using Experimento. Specific instructions, methods and materials for experiments help to embed the program successfully in teaching.
Three teachers and 68 students from 3rd, 4th and 5th grade of elementary school directly benefit from Experimento with guides donated to the teachers and logbooks to the students, along with the materials required to carry out the experiments proposed. As a next step, the teaching staff including the head teacher are committed to expanding the project by training teachers from other schools in the area, thereby encouraging transversal development in education.