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A Story of Overcoming Obstacles: Murilo Oliveira dos Santos

Brazil teen uses lessons from robotics class to help improve accessibility for physically and visually disabled

CAMAÇARI, Brazil — Before participating in the Ford Robotics Course, 15 year old Murilo Oliveria dos Santos had never heard about robotics. "I had an interest in technology, but I did not have contact with this world. I have been introduced to new areas, as mechanics, logical reasoning, data processing and have had the opportunity to develop teamwork acting as a programmer, builder, organizer, and researcher," he said.


The Ford Robotics Course is part of the Ford Education for Young Students, hosted by Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm, in a partnership with Brazilian Industrial Social Services and the support of Municipal Education Secretariat, is offered free to students ages 14 to 16 in Camaçari public schools.

Participating students learn much more than robotics in the two-month course. Challenged to create a project about Smart Cities, students developed skills and competencies related to teamwork, communications, critical thinking, leadership, time management, research and decision making.

"The challenge is very important to the students because it helps them to develops several abilities such as presenting a project," said Pedro Martinez Batista, the course´s instructor. "They will have to develop an innovative proposal, focused on civil engineering or architecture in public places or building, intending to improve people's lives in big cities."

In addition to the project, students put their robots to action to accomplish a series of missions throughout the program. Robotics represents multidisciplinary learning related to the study of several areas, like math, physics, electronics, mechanics and architecture.