The international educational program Experimento is currently active in eleven countries in Europe, Latin America, and Africa.
Educational requirements are different in every country and are strongly influenced by cultural factors. This is why local partners such as education ministries and universities are involved in all the countries. The cooperation with local educational partners helps meet the specific teaching and learning requirements of each country.
Education is one of the essential conditions for social and economic development around the world, and therefore crucial for Mexico’s future. The nation of 120 million citizens is among the most important global economies, and its emergence as an industrial nation is due largely to an emphasis on technological advancement and industrial education.
As a result, the Mexican government has significantly increased spending on education. The country invests a relatively high amount in education, with 20.6 percent of public expenditures spent in that area (OECD 2011). Education reforms passed in 2013 aim to provide free, quality public school education better than previously possible.
In 2014, Siemens Stiftung began implementing Experimento I 8+ in pilot projects, aiming to reinforce science education by incorporating complementary technology and scientific content and experiments into primary schools. A key partner in Mexico is INNOVEC (Innovation on Science Education), a non for profit organization that is supported by the Mexican education ministry, and is committed to improve teaching and learning methods in STEM-subjects (STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) along the school education.
INNOVEC enhances experience and inquiry-based science education with its SEVIC program (Sistema de Enseñanza Vivencial e Indagatoria de la Ciencia), an adaption of the model developed by the Center of Education of the Smithsonian Institute. Through this program, children are encouraged to try things out, ask questions, and find their own solutions, thereby developing logical thinking and communication skills. Experiencing science through the senses is SEVIC’s methodical goal.
INNOVEC adapted Experimento I 8+ to fit the curriculum at primary school level in Mexico, tailoring the program to complement SEVIC. The synergy between the two science-based education programs enables valuable, qualified training and continuing education opportunities for teachers, as well as well accepted and motivating learning experiences in school praxis. Following the successful initial phase of the project in some schools of Querétaro and Guanajuato, the combined program will be expanded to further schools in other Mexican states.
In addition to the cooperative activities with INNOVEC, Siemens Stiftung is expanding its science and technology education engagement in Mexico by entering cooperation with UNESCO from 2016 on. This collaboration will focus particularly on preschool, with special attention given to motivating girls from early age on to catch interest in learning about science.