By Melissa Van Brunnersum, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In April, Rio’s Secretariat of Education and the energy giant Shell launched the educational project, NXplorers, which aims to develop sustainable solutions to water, energy, and food usage, as well as other aspects of daily life.
Seven hundred students, all aged 14 to 19 and from seventeen schools across the metropolitan region and Baixada Fluminense will participate in the project.
NXplorer is an evidence-based, innovative education program and currently operates in more than a hundred schools across ten countries. The program trains young people how to engage in creative thinking and apply it to real life situations and bring about positive change.
“Young people, given the right support and guidance, will be crucial to creating sustainable solutions,” explains Harry Brekelmans, Director of Shell.
As part of the project, the number of teaching units offered to students across the seventeen schools will be increased so that students gain a deeper understanding of sustainability. Other interactive activities, such as planting trees, are also part of the initiative.
The project was launched at the Erich Walter Heine State College in Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro. The college is Latin America’s first school of sustainability.
The initial idea to improve sustainability learning in schools stemmed from a successful pilot version of the project that took place across four Governor Island schools in 2017.
The project included various activities as well as teacher training. The Secretary of Education, Wagner Victor, decided to extend the project for another year after it yielded positive results.
The schools that will run the NXplorer program are a select number of public schools located in Centro, Ilha do Governador, Bonsucesso, Pilares, Copacabana, Pedra de Guaratiba, Campo Grande, Santa Cruz, Taquara, Niterói, Nova Iguaçu, São João de Meriti, and Belford Roxo.