A teacher from a public technical school in the Rio Negro city of Bariloche, who promotes an educational project with a social purpose in which his students design 3D printed assistive devices for people with arthritis, has been named today among the Global 50 Was selected among the finalists. Teacher Awards 2023, in the eighth edition of the international award that recognizes the world’s best teachers.
Bruno Guillén (38) is an electromechanical technician, construction specialist and teacher at the Technical Education Center (CET) No. 2 “George Newberry”, one of the largest schools in Bariloche and one of the oldest which turns 70 this year. Will be one year old. Where he teaches Computer Aided Design and Technical Office Workshops to students aged 15 to 19 in the third and sixth years.
The teacher is one of the finalists competing for a one million dollar prize organized by the Varkey Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO and in alliance with the philanthropic organization Dubai Cares.
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“I have loved teaching since childhood. This news was a big emotion. I believed. I am happy,” the teacher, who was selected from more than 7,000 applications and nominations from 130 countries, told Tellum.
“Since 2019 I have been working on the ‘3D Help’ project, in which we design and print assistive devices with students for a group of people with rheumatoid arthritis, a disabling disease that causes joint wear and tear. And it is very difficult for them to handle it. Due to the swelling in them, force has to be applied with hands,” he said.
Guillen, who is in a relationship with another teacher with whom she has a 7-year-old son, has been working since he was 14 and said that, in contrast to the reality they can offer her son today. , that’s “complicated”. Childhood went through troubles. Social and economic.
“For us, the 2001 crisis was very difficult,” he recalled, “My father, a blacksmith and informal worker, lost his job. I was 16 years old and my mother and I lived by bartering. Used to be, there was very little work, I went with my mother had to change products for food everywhere. She – also an informal worker – always struggled a lot with four children.
In 2019, when Guillén was already implementing 3D printers in the technical school as a teacher, a psychologist working with a group of women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis contacted the institute to ask for help for patients .
“80% of the population affected by this autoimmune disease are women and they could not get assistive devices in Bariloche, which are expensive and difficult to obtain,” she explained.
These are devices that help them fasten buttons, close zippers, open bottles, thicken grips for pens, make key holders that wrap around keys and make it easier to open a lock or door without using force.
“The psychologist asked me ‘Can this be done with 3D printing?'” the teacher replied.
He specified that “together with the students” they create “electrical schemes or plans of mechanical parts such as gears and nuts” and explained: “We use all the knowledge of technical drawing applied to computers to design these devices. The kids were ‘crazy’ because they saw how what they learn in school impacts life.”
The foundation said more than 100 people benefited from the equipment provided free of charge to teachers and students.
“If I win the prize I would like to equip the school with technology that we do not have, such as routers, CNC (computerized numerical control) which allows our designs to be sent from the computer to a machine that can be processed along with other materials. Also works. Like aluminum or steel. “In addition, I would like to add a machining center,” the professor explained. And my dream is to have my own house.”
To develop the help in 3D, teachers and students met groups of patients and carried out educational activities, in which women with this diagnosis introduced themselves, showed them their hands, told them about the disease, what it means to see and hear. Also attacks. , Guillen recalled.
“They explained to us what they needed, they explained to us how they felt, they showed us tools in magazines and brochures that they had received, some even in English because there was not much at the national level. Some students started Find out if you have family members suffering from arthritis in your homes,” the teacher said.
The resources to begin designing them were provided by a psychologist who also belonged to pharmaceutical circles.
With the pandemic, the project was interrupted due to difficulty accessing spare parts or obtaining materials for the machines – among other reasons – and, thanks to the inspiration of the environment, including a doctor for the patients, it picked up pace again last year. ., he related.
“Help in 3D” was declared a topic of interest in her city, recognized regionally by CLAYSS (Latin American Center for Solidarity Service Learning) and nationally among 300 projects for the 2023 Solidarity Schools Presidential Award. But was a finalist. Ministry of Education of the nation.
“On October 9, 10 and 11 we will be in the city of Buenos Aires to know the results of this other award of the Ministry. It will be a very good event where we will certainly perform with the students,” Guillén said.
He concluded, “I am a defender of public education, which remains today one of the few mechanisms of social advancement.”
In addition to his work at the school, the professor is also an assistant in the mechanical engineering program at the National Technological University (UTN) in Bariloche, where he collaborates in the development and manufacturing of wind generators and works closely with two engineers. Portable sawmill, he detailed from foundation to foundation.
Ten teachers from Latin America are among the 50 finalists.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt recognition to Bruno. UNESCO is a proud partner of the Global Teacher Prize because teachers, as custodians of our future, deserve great recognition for their inspiring efforts in the face of complex challenges such as growing inequalities and In light of change, and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, teachers are indispensable in preparing children and youth to navigate a rapidly changing world,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Deputy Director-General for Education.
For his part, Agustín Porres, regional director of the Varkey Foundation, expressed: “Bruno’s experiences make him what he is today, a teacher who is very close to his students, filling a technical school with humanity and giving back to his community. is capable of changing through its students.”
In October, 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize will be announced. The winner will be chosen from among 10 finalists and announced on 8 November at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
With information from Telam