Last Thursday 1st of December 2016, I was able to attend the 2nd Education, Future and Technology Forum (XLDesafío), which took place at the University of Deusto, a cycle of forums about education organized by the magazine XLSemanal together with the Telefónica Foundation and Human Age Institute, in collaboration with Air Europa. The issue to discuss was the big challenges of education on the 21st century. Our entrepreneur and protagonist of this post, Cristina Balbás, was there.
If you are interested in the future and its development, I encourage you to dedicate a few minutes to what Cristina and her team of entrepreneurs are suggesting us.
Cristina Balbás, besides cofounder and president of the Escuelab, is one of those restless minds with clear ideas who one day decided to take the leap. Passionate and enthusiast scientist of innovative education, one day Cristina decided to start, together with other researchers like her, the Escuelab project, which came into existence in 2013 and has already been awarded at the 8th edition of the young social entrepreneurs awards (2015-2016). Those awards are directed to young people who are between 18 and 29 years old, who are developing a social or environmental project in Spain and are looking for the social transformation based on equity, justice and/or protection of the environment. Congratulations Cristina and team for the award and for what it means.
Escuelab can be defined as a social project consisting of a multidisciplinary team of people, scientists and researchers, experts on education and teachers, and artists with a great social compromise, which in fact, the volunteering team that they have proves it.
Its purpose is to democratize the access to a scientific, practical and interactive education. In order to reach that purpose, they will awake research vocations among the Spanish students of primary school, develoe skills for the future like teamwork, creativity, management of frustration or certain communication skills and remove prejudices about scientists. All of this through a practical methodology in which the science, research, inquiry and experimentation are, together with children, the real protagonists of an education based on the promotion of values like perseverance, proactivity, illusion, fun or curiosity, a process in which Cristina and her team become facilitators (great expert scientists and researchers) and learning tutors of children.
According to its founders, Escuelab revolves around two entities: Escuelab Innovación Educativa S.L. and the non-profit association Escuelab. I want to highlight the work they do through that association. From there they have created a scholarship program with the purpose of making sure that any child, especially those that have few financial and social resources, can enjoy every activity that Escuelab suggests.
Which are those activities?
Lab day: a one day workshop adapted to the requirements of every person or institution
Lab club: extraescolar activities in which fun is guaranteed and children learn while they solve science problems. Among the lab clubs, these stand out:
lab STARTER (5-8 years old) in which children explore the scientific method and the living world.
lab EXPLORER (7-10 years old) in which children investigate the human body and the science of magic.
lab PROFESSIONAL (9-12 years old) in which children work on their own projects and solve challenges.
Lab camp: urban camps in Madrid (Christmas, Easter or summer) and camps with sleepovers in summer (Madrid and other communities). In this case, children, in addition to living unique experiences in the city or in the countryside, they learn to design their own experiments, know the secrets of the DNA or make robots.
Don’t tell me you don’t want to know more about this project or that you don’t want to sign up your children, siblings, nephews or nieces or other members of your family or friends. By the way, this Christmas, from the 27th to the 30th of December, the Lab camp will take place again. Do you want to participate?
This is your chance. The occasion is worthy and the project even more.
Oh, and if the message isn’t clear, here you have a couple of videos where Cristina explains it really well:
Here’s the second video:
I don’t have anything more to say but to wish you a wonderful week.