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'Limpa Recreio' was invented by 3rd Grade students from Famalicão, Source: Municipality of Famalicão

Famalicão lets the youngest create the future thanks to My Machine initiative

Famalicão lets the youngest create the future thanks to My Machine initiative

The Portuguese city is one of the participants in this exciting global initiative

‘Limpa Recreio’ is the name of a schoolyard cleaner machine which was created from ideas generated by 3rd Grade students from the Escola Básica de Delães in Famalicão, Portugal. Its creation is one of the several cool and successful examples of the validity of the “My Machine” global project – an educational programme that challenges students from different age groups to collective come up with sustainable tech solutions.

Despite the pandemic, other projects like ‘Limpa Recreio’ have been developed within the scope of “My Machine”. The 12 machines built over the last two academic years are presented at Lusíada University in Famalicão, in a session today.

Stimulating a creative mindset among the youngest

“My Machine” is a project that was born in Kortrijk (Belgium), at the University of Howest. In Vila Nova de Famalicão, the project has been taking root in schools since 2017, as part of the My Machine Portugal branch.

The ingenuity of this initiative is that it doesn’t discriminate against the youth. In fact, quite the opposite the essence of the project is the idea that even primary school students can be inventors in their own right.

‘Limpa Recreio’ (which translates to something like ‘Recess Cleaner’) came from an observation by the students that trash, such as tree leaves, and other residues regularly accumulated on the school yard grounds.

The invention works on solar energy and the students pedal to reach all corners of the playground, where, through the vacuum cleaner, placed on the trailer, they suck the leaves from the school playground.

“My Machine” projects work in 3 steps. The first is the identification of the problem and the proposed solution, all of which is done by the elementary school students. Then their idea is taken to higher education students who design a concept. In the final stage, engineering students create the prototype based on the first steps and make it workable.

It is a challenging and interesting educational project, as it allows children to be stimulated in the scientific and technological areas from an early age”, emphasized the Mayor of Famalicão, Mário Passos. “I welcome this involvement of several layers of education, from primary students to university level students, in a project that challenges them to find solutions to day-to-day problems and open creative horizons.

Today’s presentation of projects showcases the creative potential of the younger generations. Most of the machines designed are thought out to help solve issues like environmental pollution or noise control.

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