Teachers share the lessons they learned from the Tech Marathon

The Tech Marathon is a school competition sponsored by iFood, one Brazilian technology company, to awaken young people’s interest in this area. But teachers who get involved in the program also learn a lot of cool things – and create new motivations for their own personal and professional growth.

Let Luciene Santana Ferreira, biology and STEAM teacher ((an acronym in English to determine the combination of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in a single discipline) and coordinator of Innovative Projects at the COC of Imperatriz, in Maranhão, say so.

“I learned a lot from my students during the competition”, he says. “It is a journey in which listening to the teacher and his role as mediator are very important, even to understand if a student is unmotivated and, from there, chart new routes.”

Improving this listening skill was one of the great benefits that Luciene says she noticed in her participation in the project. “Often, in the classroom, the teacher, driven to fulfill the curriculum, does not have the ideal time to develop students' authorial projects based on their interests”, he assesses.

Over the ten months of the competition, she says she gained the students' trust because she was able to better understand their difficulties in carrying out their day-to-day tasks.

“I got too close to them”, he emphasizes. “Today our relationship is one of great friendship and respect, and I have no difficulty developing new projects with them, so that they can be protagonists of their purposes.”

“They understood that technology is a means”

The challenges of the Marathon Tech also added new knowledge and skills to the curriculum of Rubio Bessa, a sociology and geography teacher in high school at Colégio Estadual Dom Pedro Primeiro, in Aparecida de Goiânia, in Goiás.

“The Marathon represented, for me, a formative experience in the areas of technology and education related to the world of work”, he states. “Their challenging practices and experiences qualified and updated me in relation to the demands for basic education teachers in Brazil.”

Ribio highlights that he had to “articulate and motivate a team of 30 students at school and at home” so that they could put their creativity into action and engage in the proposed activities.

“As a teacher, I noticed that the students’ interest went far beyond the awards”, he comments. “They understood that technology is a means and not an end in itself.”

Professor Gerson Ribeiro dos Santos, in turn, was responsible for guiding and preparing students at the Maria das Graças Alves Costa Municipal School, in the city of Irecê, in Bahia.

“My role involved training, mentoring and technical support to ensure the best performance of students in the competition”, he says.

In his opinion, the great message conveyed to the students was that, “the greater the commitment and commitment to the activities, the greater the chances of understanding computational thinking and future tech professions”.

Marathon Tech is part of the iFood's commitment to investing in basic education in Brazil.

In 2022, the competition brought together 80 thousand students in 21 states and 183 Brazilian cities. Of these participants, 222 were awarded technology scholarships.

The expectation for the second edition of the program, in this year 2023, is to reward a thousand young people at the end.

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