IE Gran Colombia is the first country to practice the STEAM+ network

Diana Vidali
Country | without money

Between white walls, wooden doors, one-way balconies and gray windows, the life of the students of the Gran Colombia Institution in Manizales unfolds with disparity.
While humidity dominates the walls and moths on the wooden floors, thanks to their technical equipment, they are the first school in Manizale to set up a STEM+ network.
STEM+ practice and experience is interdisciplinary learning to understand and learn areas of knowledge such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, developing skills in students such as research, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication and collaboration.
The initiative was promoted by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Scientific Park of Social Innovation of the Minuto de Dios University. The above, through a March call, attended by 35 certified Secretaries of Education, were to be identified as STEM+ territories.
In addition to Gran Colombia, the Normal School of Manizales and the Rural College José Antonio Galán aspired to this call through the Ministry of Education of Manizales.

The Ministry of Education will set up a network of innovative STEM+ schools with more than 100 experiments and audiovisual documentation to foster collaborative work between institutions that implement engaging practices or processes.

recognition process

The rector of Gran Colombia, Leonidas López, explains that the technical implementation began in 2012 when the institute began to equip itself with computers for education. “The same year, with a project proposed to the Ministry of ICT, we received around 500 tablets. The students not only had tablets for their work in class, but also
Even with computers in the four system rooms, which we designed for the time,” he notes.
“We were working on the Steam+ route without being recognized at the Colombian level. So we started with the subject of science and technology, then each teacher formed science and innovation-oriented projects, and from that, we were effective in the project. integrated way”, explains the teacher of the establishment, David Munoz.


Professor of Human Development, Paula Andrea Ocampo recognized that the tech-loving man was Principal López, and thanks to this teachers opened a horizon for computer resources. He explains: “It is no longer these monotonous classrooms, the teachers in front of the blackboard, the billboards, which have completely disappeared.

Here, the boys make a living from technology, which makes the lessons more pleasant, more creative”.
Thanks to accreditation and applied dynamism, a webinar is organized on the STEAM+ network on Friday, inviting experts and other institutions to present their technical experiences in the field of education.
In addition, technological processes are used to facilitate learning in a student community with limited abilities. Lady Viviana Garcia is the mother of a family who enthusiastically shares her daughter’s testimony. “The girl had a long process because she has vision problems, but she has developed very well in this school. She has advanced in maths and Spanish.

interinstitutional network

The teachers confirm that the campus has the necessary equipment, which is why they have redirected the list of tablets to other educational institutions. “We mention the Cyprus Institute, Mariscal Sucre and the Latin American Institute.

The technology has also been provided to some schools in rural areas,” explains director Leonidas López.

is used

Music, drawing and painting are also based on technique. Professor Paula Ocampo reports that in her classes she uses computer programming to extract music and tutorials. “First we practice virtuality, then we bring it back to reality. It is therefore a very good way to combine technology to develop
students’ potential,” says Ocampo.
For his part, mathematics teacher Luis Enrique Zapata maintains that when technology is used, it can be guaranteed that the student puts into practice what is taught, since the platforms allow personalized monitoring. .
“We work with a platform that is free, it’s called Khan Academy. And I can say that we are the only school in the city of Manizales that uses the system room to give math lessons. »
Zapata said they have been working with the platform since 2016 and have found evidence of an increase in academic performance since then.

technology and science

Luisa Fernanda is Professor of Technology and Information Science at Arenas Gran Colombia. With emotion, he describes his study program based on the path of steam, according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Education.
*Gamification – Learning through online games – in 6th grade.
* History of computing in seventh grade.
* Graphic design in eighth
*Programming with algorithmic theory in class IX.
*In tenth, what was learned in ninth is applied to the production of video games and animations.
* Robotics in Eleven.
In addition to the action plan, teacher Luisa teaches astronomy to her students. “We are designing night books, which are field journals in which they will record astronomical observations through software or with direct observations going to the Manizales Planetarium. But it’s not just a record, but including art.” He concluded. the sand.


“The challenge continues to convince rectors and invite teachers to demonstrate the work they do in the development of the classroom. Education is not defined objectively at present, because teachers have multiple projects. , but they are not shown, this is the hidden course, ”explains rector Leonidas López.
Although the above coincides with the challenges of the STEAM+ network, teacher Luis Enrique Zapata emphasizes the fight to stop school dropout. “Enrollments have dropped drastically over the past three years. Parents choose to transfer their children to larger and more recognized schools in the city,” he laments.
So, amid damp white walls, professors and students continue to protest the technology.

Letter of Appreciation

Laura Atehortua
The use of technology is very important to me, because here we can work on all subjects. The teachers explain to us and we can apply everything we learn in class, if we do not understand they give us the possibility of reading texts and they explain each one step by step.

Juan Jose Mosquera
I think we learn more because the classes are more dynamic, because the app shows us where we failed and shows us how to improve step by step.

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