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CrESI: the app created by secondary students to teach Comprehensive Sex Education


Source: LA NACION – Credit: Santiago Hafford

Four years ago, from the Mano Amiga Santa Mara school in Pilar, they started with a project that combined technology with education: from there came the
CrESI app, developed by high school students, a kind of
Asked (with questions and answers) about
Integral Sex Education (ESI). It is possible, for example, to answer "What is called wet dreams?", "If I was exposed to situations of risk of HIV infection, what does it mean that the HIV test is negative?" or "In what part of the female genital system does fertilization occur?"

The beginnings of the project were not fortuitous. In the institution they had two teenage pregnancies before starting. "At that time it was fashionable
Asked and it occurred to us that it could be a good way to help in the ESI, "recalls Andrs Obregn, a professor of mathematics and literature, one of the intellectual authors of the app. Together with him he promotes the Gladys Cabral project, a professor of computer science. High school students are the material authors: those who transformed that idea into an application that can be downloaded.

The boys were armed in groups: the design one, the content one, the programmers. In 2016, the first one came out
Android version. Now, the new one is added
for iOS, developed jointly with Intive Argentina, which has several social projects of this type.

300 questions

Obregn does not doubt why he got into this project. "ESI by law will have to be transversal in all subjects, beyond what we give. That is why I always say that I got into this because it is my duty. And it has challenged me a lot, because I have had to give the workshops. And That means that at the end of each workshop, kids can leave all their questions in a mailbox. And sometimes we shake with what they ask, heh. But it's a challenge to be prepared, "he explains. The teacher says that he studied a year of systems engineering, but then turned to teaching because he "liked it more".

The app they developed at school was collecting all those mailbox questions. Not only those of the Mano Amiga school, but also in each of the workshops they gave in other schools, or in other establishments that were using the app. Today in total, they have 300 questions to play. CrESI dropped it in total more than 20 thousand users. And, in addition to the questionnaire, other things were modified throughout this time; for example, the web version so that teachers can project the educational game on the screen.

The iOS version

Making an application for Apple devices can be very simple if you have all the necessary equipment (iPhones, Macs, authorization in the App Store, for example). It was not the case of the school, which in the middle of the road met Intive. They helped them to program the app thanks to their knowledge and infrastructure. "The world of apps and the social field have a very long way to go. Technology comes very little. The amount of software that is made with social impact has no relationship or comparison with commercial developments," explains Mariano Stampella, partner founder of the company.

"It is necessary that technological companies can link, listen, reach those who have the need," he explains. In that sense, in one of the most well-known events that seek to link the two areas (social and IT), Developer for Goods, was that Stampella heard something that caught his attention: "Some boys say they wanted to be like those of Mano Amiga school, which had been on TV for their educational project. It is very good to be an inspiration and we need more of that, "he explains.

An educational project that everyone supports

"Mano Amiga is a high quality school for low-income children," explains Obregn. It is a private institution; It belongs to a Foundation, of the Legionaries of Christ Religious Congregation. The teacher says there was no brake on the CrESI project internally. "He was always very well received and the priests themselves sometimes share publications or recognitions," she said. Strictly speaking, the Comprehensive Sex Education app is not the only one with a focus on social issues: they made another one for addiction prevention and another for road safety.

They have in the establishment students who have already become authentic programmers. "Some were already offered work," admits Obregn. "But an app," he says, "is not just programming; it is much more than that, it is the idea, the design and especially the content," he explains. From Spain and from other places in Latin America, they have already been written to thank you. And they obtained numerous awards: from being pre-finalists in the Solutions for the Future contest, from Samsung in 2017, or earning a seed capital in 2015 of one thousand dollars.

Last year there were 84,768 pregnancies of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in the country. Obregn feels that this is a small contribution to help keep that figure down, which was three years ago. "It's just a grain of sand," he says.

. CrESI: the app created by secondary students to teach Comprehensive Sex Education – LA NACION