Tecnoaventura: Making greatness accessible
An inspiring morning was had by all at the Ruca Che stadium in Neuquen, where students and teachers from technical schools enjoyed an immersive learning experience about the world of energy.
As the first rays of daylight shone onto the buses on a chilly winter morning, their passengers poured out into a parking lot that was a hive of activity. Hundreds of students were being herded into groups with their teachers, who were trying to organize them in orderly fashion before filing into the Ruca Che stadium, the colossus of western Neuquen, for the latest edition of Tecnoaventura Tecpetrol. Like on game night, the lower rows of the stands rapidly filled up and soon, five hundred eager students from the main technical schools in Neuquen, Centenario, Plottier and Senillosa were seated and ready for the day’s activities. Then things got started.
Tecnoaventura is Tecpetrol's initiative for technical school students, designed to bring them closer to the world of energy in an entertaining way, orchestrated by Tecpetrol professionals using different formats according to the area. In the words of Laura Mastromauro, Community Relations supervisor: “It’s a really enriching process for the students, as they can learn all about unconventional resources and the range of careers and professions associated with the industry. In terms of their careers down the line, this is a pivotal moment in their lives, so we are very keen to help them with their training for the future”.
This year was Tecnoaventura’s triumphant return to a face-to-face modality. Students were organized into fifteen groups, led by company facilitators or prefects. Each group was sent to a subject area, divided into the five major topics covered over the day: Geology, Safety and Environment, Drilling and Fracturing, Plants, and Production. The Tecpetrol professionals working in each area were: Matías Campillo and Belén Marquina (HSE); Julio Sandoval and Natalia Gálvez (Production); Brenda Carolina Fidda and Ailin Lopasso (Geology); Lucas Goñi, Hernán Pianciola and Agustina Martín (Drilling and Completion), Guillermo Villegas, Yain Camps, Franchesca Renzullo and Santiago Fanti (Plants).
Dynamic and didactic, each area addressed its chosen topic in a different way to keep the students on their toes and enthused, using explanatory videos, master classes, games, learning blackboards, and questions chosen by a lottery draw machine, among others.
Area 11, one of the three dedicated to Plants, featured Santiago Fanti, the company's Plant Processes Engineer, as one of its teachers: “It’s been so great to go back to face-to-face mode. We’ve taken on the major challenge of telling some five hundred young people about to finish their technical high school studies what it is we do in the industry. Our idea is not only to provide them with content but also to try to motivate them, to command their attention and spark their curiosity. Hopefully to inspire them when it comes to taking a decision about the career they want to pursue and what they want to specialize in in the future.”
The students’ teachers, for their part, also had their own learning experience: what approach to take, how to orient students when helping them take decisions about their future. Héctor Aramayo, a professor at EPET 3 who’s spent most of his career teaching students about energy, was one of them. For him, the expectation was twofold: “Our school is the only one teaching about the energy industry here in the province. We are educating future specialists and technicians in Energy. I’m here today with them, being supportive and learning new ways of tackling specific issues. My students are extremely motivated: you never know, in a few years, one of my students might be back here—but as a Tecpetrol professional!”
An enriching Wednesday morning, and one that was also fun and motivating. Tomás, a student from EPET 8, enjoyed himself. “We’ve passed through lots of different areas, we just came from Geology. I still don't know what to study but now I know how many options I have!” His friend Lucas, interrupted him to say, “I want to study engineering. From what I’ve seen, it's way more fun than I imagined."
Towards noon came the final challenge, the moment everyone had been waiting for: the quiz to test the knowledge learned during the morning. For that, the arena was set up as a TV game show studio, complete with lights, a host, and boards with questions and answers. Finally, after several tough rounds, where representatives from the fifteen groups answered some hard questions, one group was declared the winner and stepped up to receive their prize.
To wrap up the morning, Alejandro Gaisch, the company’s Labor Relations and Communities manager shared some emotive words. “What a great day it’s been! Tecnoaventura is for fifth-year boys and girls who are beginning to decide what they’re going to do when they leave school. The objective is for them to finish today happy and a bit more certain, taking with them a little more experience and knowledge to help them make good decisions about their future.”