COSTA RICA: Students from the Don Bosco School among top finalists in two educational competitions
(MissionNewswire) Students attending the Don Bosco School, located in Alajeulita, Costa Rica, engaged in two recent educational competitions, placing among the top finalists in both. Students competed in the First Lego League, a science, technology and robotics competition that encourages youth to research and use critical thinking. The event, which brought together more than 500 students from different schools in Latin America, was held on Nov. 16 in Costa Rica.
The Don Bosco School, which is part of the Don Bosco Salesian Educational Center (CEDES) and has more than 400 students, was represented by 16 students who are taking courses at the school’s center of technology. The first team, a finalist in the competition, designed two futuristic cities that reflect emotions, colors and fun. The second team, which received an honorable mention, created an eco-friendly residential complex with accessibility and eco-terraces to encourage sharing among families.
In addition to the competition, students also created and launched an application known as Quimera, which aims to reduce school abandonment. This is particularly relevant in Costa Rica. According to data from the Ministry of Public Education, in 2018, 10,211 students left secondary school without graduating. Created by five students, the project was a finalist in the regional competition Latin Code Week and was promoted by Junior Achievement.
Quimera is a cross-platform application that utilizes games and tests to motivate young people to enjoy studying and reinforces learning interactively. The objective of Quimera is to interactively link academic subjects and schools, allowing students to gain greater knowledge of the subjects, tackling them in a more dynamic way. Moreover, it will allow teachers to track student progress in order to provide extra support to help them stay in school.
These competitions provide a great way for students to use the skills they have learned in the classroom,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “In Costa Rica and in countries around the globe, Salesian missionaries help young people take responsibility for their own lives and provide them with both the technical and life skills needed to succeed in the workplace.”
According to the World Bank, more than 1.14 million Costa Ricans live in poverty, which is more than 21 percent of the population. While the poverty rate has dropped slightly from 2014, extreme poverty has been on the rise and has reached its highest recorded rate in the last six years.
In addition, poor Costa Ricans are more likely to live in a single-mother household and have a higher than average number of children under 5 years old as well as other dependents living in the same home. Dependents include other children under 14 years old or adults over 65 years old. More than 77 percent of poor Costa Ricans work in the informal sector and have roughly three years less schooling than their peers who are not living in conditions of poverty.
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World Bank – Costa Rica