Technical Excellence Gene
In tune with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the company is forging a singular path to strengthen technological learning in the communities where it operates.
Quality teaching is vital for prosperity and growth and lies at the core of the commitment made by the SDGs, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In this case, SDG 4 calls for nations, companies and communities to “Guarantee inclusive, equitable and quality education and promote learning opportunities throughout life and for all.”
In line with the UN SDGs enshrined in the 2030 Agenda, each country has a mandate and responsibility as regards the definition of its own objectives. Tecpetrol has developed its own approach within this institutional framework, aimed at supporting technical specialization within education. In the words of Pablo Martellotta, Head of Community Relations, “The company is focused on boosting the technological profile of students throughout all educational levels. Although our flagship program Tech Gene is aimed at secondary school students, we are developing initiatives for children and young people all the way through, from primary school to university.” What’s special about this is the emphasis on STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
This multidisciplinary enterprise is designed to help technical school students cultivate a profile that will help insert them into the labor market when they graduate. “The program covers different areas such as providing technological equipment, teacher training and professional internships in our workshops, or at our suppliers' facilities. The main thrust is to enable school leavers to have the best possible practices under their belt as a way of enhancing their employability. This is the case with the technological classrooms where students can take classes remotely, as these are part of a network of other classrooms located in areas where Tecpetrol and other Group companies operate. There are also specific technical training sessions for teachers run by companies like Festo, which is known for its pioneering work in automation. The program additionally offers students training on various topics covering both technical and soft skills.
This is all about writing the future today, and Martellota enthuses that, “on July 6 we’ll be holding the Tecnoaventura fair in Neuquen. We’re doing this face-to-face again after two years of being on hold, and we’ve invited students and teachers from technical schools across the province to enjoy a full-on experience of firsthand learning focused on how our industry works, delivered in an entertaining way. This year, we'll be also be holding robotics shows.”
One of the cornerstones of the approach to education is the Roberto Rocca Educational Program, which awards annual Scholarships to students in recognition of their hard work and academic results. The latest version has incorporated a socioeconomic variable that evaluates students to ensure that those from more unfavorable and vulnerable backgrounds get a fair crack of the whip: "This program also has a version for university students where we try to help those studying for technical degree courses," adds Martellota.
The educational initiative involves children in the early years of their education. Although it does not have the scope of Tech Gene, the After School program provides elementary school teachers with equipment and training in STEM-related areas. In this way, girls and boys from first to sixth grade can incorporate more technological learning into their usual learning program.
“Lastly, we support universities by providing equipment and accompanying the institution, rather than the individual. In short, our commitment is about supporting the entire community: it’s a medium to long-term task aimed at tackling the challenges of the future by contributing to quality technical education,” summarizes Martellotta. The Community Relations area is fully behind the drive to strengthen these aspects of teaching.