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United Way Blog

Social Emotional Transformation with Robotics, Coding and STEAM

To mark World Mental Health Day, we're re-publishing a blog from United Way Latin America, which illustrates how robotics, microbeats and innovative partnerships can impact student learning and mental health. 

Analyzing, thinking creatively, and collaborating in teams are some of the skills we can develop with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning. 

With this in mind, the United Way and Lenovo teams in Mexico and Colombia joined forces to expose more than 200 children and 30 young people to engaging STEM learning experiences. 

In Mexico, 850 children, 100 youth, 954 parents, 24 educators and 80 volunteers delved into robotics, programming and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) applied to the rapid transformation of our way of life. The experience highlighted the importance of social emotional skills with gender equity. And it was holistic learning in cognitive, physical, creative, and emotional skills. 

The experience was successful in training educators responsible for the program and the beginning of this initiative in six of the eight schools contemplated. Érick Díaz, Microbit's Route Implementer, describes it as: "It was a different experience because we had 10th and 11th grade students, some students had some idea what the MicroBit was because they had already seen or worked in some way in class, but in this course, they deepened their knowledge much more and were able to develop their programming and computational thinking skills." 

In the case of Samuel Tapia, an 11th grader at Aquileo Parra School, it was a lesson that stuck. "The lessons learned, because it leaves me, which leaves me with it for the future, for life, which is to develop a career that I like or something that catches my attention," he said. 

Starting in 2021, United Way and Lenovo created Transforming Realities with STEM, designed to impact more than 12,000 students and 500 teachers in six countries with STEM-focused learning experiences in its first phase. Teams from both organizations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have brought educational communities closer to various topics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In the second phase, we have directly impacted 1,600 people, and indirectly influenced more than 3,000 family members and professionals in the educational and public sectors. 

Follow us to find out more about STEAM impacting social emotional skills and supporting mental health development #LetThemBe 

United Way México
United Way Colombia
United Way Brasil 
United Way Perú 
United Way Chile 
United Way Argentina
United Way Latin America 

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