In many countries, education is taken for granted. Children have access to schools and can learn about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). However in many parts of the world, this can be a challenge, often due to the lack of qualified teachers and facilities.

Experience of a lifetime for Brazilian teachers

In Brazil, a lack of qualified science and technical professionals is hampering the country’s overall development.

To address this, Shell Brazil runs the Science Education Award as part of a local social investment programme. This award recognises and rewards STEM teachers in Brazil’s public sector.

“This prize makes a real difference to teachers’ lives,” says Pamella De-Cnop, Social Performance Manager for Shell Brazil. “They are responsible for the future generation. The Science Education Award credits the role they play in influencing others and changing their students’ perspective on life.”

The 2016 winners were six science and maths teachers from public-sector primary and secondary schools in Rio de Janeiro. They travelled to London on an education trip.

The winning teachers were credited for innovative projects that have impacted students’ lives and led to greater interest in science-related areas and potential careers.

As well as a personal bonus and a donation to their schools, the teachers had the chance to fly to London and visit institutions such as the British Council, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Wohl Reach Out Lab, a state-of-the-art STEM laboratory at Imperial College.

”The teachers tell us that this trip was a dream come true,” De-Cnop says. “Most have never left the country, so everything is new and aspirational.”

Now in its fourth year, the Science Education Award is planning to expand into other areas in Brazil. Engaging children in STEM is a vital step to inspiring them to become future engineers or scientists. Shell currently has STEM programmes in 16 countries, including the USA, UK, Nigeria and the Netherlands.

Find out more our global STEM programmes

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