School districts selected for the Tech and Play Initiative
The Creative Schools Program aims to deliver a more meaningful, hands-on learning experience and demonstrate the role of play in children’s learning, and will benefit up to 500,000 students by 2024
The cities of Branquinha, Caruaru, Curitiba, Jaguariúna, Recife, Ribeirão das Neves, São Bernardo do Campo, São Luís, and Vinhedo, alongside the state of Rio Grande do Sul, will take part
The program comes as a recent Lemann Foundation survey found that 40% of Brazilian students were at risk of dropping out of school
Funded by the LEGO Foundation, the program was designed in close partnership with the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium Museum, and the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach at Tufts University
The Lemann Foundation, through its Brazilian Network for Creative Learning (BNCL), today announced that ten public education networks will take part in its Creative Schools Program, which will benefit up to 500,000 students in 20 educational networks by 2024. The program, funded by the LEGO Foundation, intends to make Brazilian public education more creative, enjoyable, relevant, collaborative and inclusive for children aged 6-12. Teachers will be encouraged to develop their own activities using creative learning, robotics, creative computing platforms like Scratch, and accessible and reusable materials such as cardboard, glue, paper, scissors and recyclable packaging.
The BNCL has selected the municipal departments for education of Branquinha, Caruaru, Curitiba, Jaguariúna, Recife, Ribeirão das Neves, São Bernardo do Campo, São Luís and Vinhedo, as well as the Rio Grande do Sul State Department for Education. Schools will implement the program in July 2021, training teachers to encourage more creative, hands-on, and relevant classroom experiences.
Last year, the LEGO Foundation awarded the Lemann Foundation nearly $4 million ($3,974,437) to deliver their first-ever Tech and Play initiative, which aims to highlight the importance of incorporating play into children’s learning. Brazil was one of three countries selected to take part in the project, alongside Kenya and Rwanda.
The program comes at a crucial time for Brazilian education. A recent survey of parents and children commissioned by the Lemann Foundation found that 40% of Brazilian students were at risk of dropping out of school, an increase of 14 percentage points on the previous year. More than half of parents (51%) said that with schools closed, their children had learned nothing over the last year. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank found that half of Brazilian 10-year-olds struggled to read a basic text.
The Brazilian Network for Creative Learning, launched in 2015, is a grassroots movement that unites educators, artists, parents, researchers, entrepreneurs, students and organizations to promote and support hands-on, creative, relevant and inclusive educational practices throughout the country. It does so through workshops, Invention and Creativity Festivals, and by supplying parents and educators with creative learning resources. The BNCL has more than 20 regional centers and 4,000 members.
The Lemann Foundation will work closely with the BNCL to implement the project, which was developed with distinguished partners such as the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium Museum, and the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach at Tufts University.
Leo Burd, Executive Director of the Brazilian Network for Creative Learning and a Researcher at the MIT Media Lab, said:
“The program is an opportunity for public education networks to explore new pedagogical approaches that engage students and faculty in meaningful, hands-on and fun activities using accessible materials, easily found in Brazilian homes and schools, with or without the use of a computer.”
Lucas Rocha, Innovation Manager at the Lemann Foundation, said:
“The Lemann Foundation, which is committed to delivering quality education for all, supports creative learning. Hands-on learning experiences, in which children can pick up materials, test them out and see how they work, allow students to be at the heart of the learning process and help them develop more autonomy. Children and teenagers can learn a lot through play.”
The Creative Learning Program builds on the Lemann Foundation’s decades of advancing Brazilian education. Last year, with 180,000 of Brazil’s schools closed due to COVID-19, the Foundation’s #PeloFuturoAgora (‘For the Future Now’) initiative ensured nearly a quarter of Brazilian schoolchildren – nearly 13 million students – had access to remote learning. Utilizing apps such as YouTube and WhatsApp, it provided free, high-quality learning tools on every type of platform.
Notes for editors:
The Lemann Foundation is a Brazilian not-for-profit organisation with the aim of making Brazil a more just and equitable country, by encouraging access to high-quality public education for Brazilians of all backgrounds, while supporting the development of leaders committed to the long-term social transformation of Brazil. The Lemann Foundation supports a range of innovative, scalable initiatives that not only benefit millions of people in Brazil, but serve as a model for equitable development around the world.
The Brazilian Creative Learning Network (BCLN) is a grassroots movement that implements playful, creative and relevant hands-on educational practices in schools and non-formal learning spaces throughout Brazil. To achieve that, BCLN organizes programs and events that give voice to thousands of educators, researchers, managers, entrepreneurs, artists, families and students from the whole country.
The LEGO Foundation aims to build a future in which learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. We are dedicated to re-defining play and re-imagining learning to ensure children build the broad set of skills they need to thrive and succeed.
The LEGO Foundation Tech and Play initiative connects organizations around the world that are igniting a more playful approach to using technology in classrooms. We look for solutions that inspire children’s creative expression in a wide range of specialties from creative coding to tinkering to robotics. Our goal is to make learning through play with technology more accessible to teachers and equip children with the skills to thrive in a technology-driven world.