In question is the Kids & Science program, which will apply over 210 thousand euros in actions for 2820 preschool, 1st, and 2nd-grade children, and the Digital Competencies program, which will finance over 637 thousand euros to initiatives for over 17 thousand students from pre-school to 4th grade.

The council member for Education in the municipality belonging to Aveiro district, Gil Ferreira, confirmed some planned actions in these projects were already put into practice in the previous school year, while others are gaining a new dynamism in the next three school years thanks to financing from the PAOITI – Action Plan for Integrated Operation in the Intervention Territory – of the southern Porto Metro Area.

“The conjugation of the Kids & Science and Digital Competencies programs, both results of the financing opportunities of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, will reinforce the learning progression and experiences in the STEAM field of education,” the mayor said, referencing the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths.

The politician defended that this would guarantee children, right at the beginning of their schooling, “an articulated and wholistic vision of essential learning” – with benefits to logical reasoning, concentration and team spirit – and will also ease “the sequentiality of education activities” for teachers.

“Both projects have as a basic principle the universality of access to education since it reaches every child in pre-school and 1st grade of the nine school groups in Santa Maria da Feira,” Gil Ferreira highlighted.

In the specific case of Kids & Science, the program will involve 95 preschool groups and 45 2nd-grade pupils in “experimental science activities aligned with the curriculum” of each education institution. An example is the experiments related to the water cycle, with chemical reactions between different substances, playful maths and physics involved with the moving of objects.

Concerning the Digital Competencies program, it’ll focus on robotics and programming for nearly 5800 pre-schoolers, widening to other fields in the 1st cycle: 3000 1st graders will explore IT; 2610 2nd graders will have lessons in Makers, exploring concepts from concession to production; almost 6000 3rd and 4th graders will begin in the informatics program; and students from 100 1st cycle classes, in general, will experiment with Virtual and Augmented Reality situations.

“This program, all in all, aims to teach kids through the methodology of Learning by Doing, transforming them into active agents in their own intellectual development,” Gil Ferreira stated, believing that “collaborative lessons between teachers and students” will allow for better performance in school for pupils.

“Robotics, programming and virtual reality stimulate logical reasoning and the search for innovative solutions. They promote concentration, logic and team spirit. The benefits allow to consolidate knowledge, achieve curricular goals, use technology responsibly, problem solve and create creative content,” he concluded.