Tenaris is adapting its Technical Gene Program, a global, community initiative to promote technical education to socially distanced learning.
As part of the transformation of activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of 80 students in Pindamonhangaba, Brazil, had the opportunity to take online courses in robotics, Industry 4.0 and maker culture (a hands-on approach to learning). Some students will have the chance to build a light-guided robot as part of the practical activities included in the program.
Tenaris implemented the Technical Gene program in Brazil in 2014 at the ETEC João Gomes de Araújo High School. The program aims to strengthen the foundation of technical education in the community through improved school infrastructure, teacher training and development activities for students, such as industrial internships.
The new online courses were developed in partnership with the Fab Lab of SESI-SP School, Taubaté, which offers students prototyping practices for innovation and invention that stimulate maker learning, educational research and entrepreneurial skills.
“Offering education about Industry 4.0, robotics and maker projects is a unique feature of the program,” said Mário Augusto de Souza, ETEC João Gomes de Araújo High School principal. “These areas of studies focus on trends in the current market, which requires increasingly versatile professionals with interdisciplinary knowledge.”
Students are having the opportunity to work with technologies such as laser cutting and 3D printing, as well as mechanics, robotics, programming and logical reasoning.
To date, more than 260 students have participated in the specialized training activities offered under Technical Gene program at the ETEC High School since its launch.
Tenaris has also shifted other community relations programs in Brazil online, such as its Afterschool Program, which features STEM studies (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), arts and recreational activities. Teachers of the Afterschool program have developed online training activities for the 200 children currently enrolled in the program. Those educational materials have also been made available to a wider student population of the public school system through the "Educa Pinda” online platform created by the city's Department of Education.
The Merit Awards scholarship program, now in its fourteenth year in the country, also transitioned to a digital platform, with enrollment and awards carried out online for the first time. The program recognized 200 high-performing students from the community with 1,600 reais each ($300 USD) and a certificate for their academic performance.