Dr. Enrique Ruiz-Velasco
Introduction and objective:
In today’s information-filled world, it is imperative to build a solid culture around information technology. The development of a nation depends largely on the speed with which it can incorporate and utilize technology. Likewise, work opportunities and personal growth depend on an individual’s skill within the field of information technology. For the above reasons, the Mexican Academy of Science believes that Mexican children must acquire a wide range of information technology skills and understand the culture around their use and purpose as part of the cultural and technological heritage of the society in which they live; it should not be a challenge for Mexican youth to consider information technology a basic ally in their intellectual and professional education. This program was initiated in 1994 at the Federal Electricity Commission’s Technology Museum in Chapultepec Park.
The Information Technology for Young Adults and Children Program organizes workshops for Elementary and Junior High School students. The information technology workshops are held in public libraries and centers dedicated to culture and science. They are organized in collaboration with institutions like the National Council on Art and Culture’s Library Department, state and municipal governments and local universities.
Dr. Enrique Ruiz-Velasco Sanchez is the program’s Director, while Juan Manuel Sánchez Morales is in charge of the technological coordination.
For elementary school children, the educational programming language called Logo is used. Logo teaches children to view the computer as an accessible means for intellectual stimulation that the child can control even as it challenges her. This language constructs programs that are incrementally more challenging, helping students develop logical thought, propose and solve problems and build their creativity. Our goal is to eliminate the gap between Mexican children who have access to technology and those who do not. The Logo workshop trains more than 49,000 children .
There are currently 129 workshops operating in 15 states in Mexico: Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Colima, Durango, Distrito Federal, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Querétaro, Sinaloa, Veracruz and the Yucatán.
Workshops for Junior High students use a mathematics teaching program based on the Geometra software, a dynamic construction and exploratory tool, which gives students the ability to explore, analyze and understand geometry in an interactive manner. The program is held in 69 workshops in nine different states including Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Colima, México, D.F, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Querétaro and Sinaloa.
The Scientific Applications Module has been operating since 2006. These applications are electronic cards controlled by the Logo software containing sensors, lamps and small motors. They were inexpensively built by the Academy with components acquired in Mexico and are made for children to use when preparing their own experiments with recycled material. Through electronic devices and mechanisms, children learn to interpret data in their immediate environment in real time and to develop robotics applications. This process teaches children technological skills that involve the use of mathematics, science, engineering and skills from other disciplines. There are currently 10 workshops running in six states including: Aguascalientes, Distrito Federal, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Querétaro and Sinaloa.
Since 2011, the program has included an activity called mobile robotics pedagogy, which initiates students into the study of general science and technology from an early age and promotes a culture of technology in our country. The program has more than 1000 children.
Coordinator: Juan Manuel Sánchez Morales
Tel/Fax: +52 (55) 58 49 49 13