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Verbal and Mathematical Literacy Education and STEAM in the Technopolis of São Carlos, Brazil

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STEM in the Technopolis: The Power of STEM Education in Regional Technology Policy


How can training verbal and mathematical literacy educators of school-age children make a difference in one’s hometown? From a regional development perspective, this chapter describes the potential of a “viral” transfer of primary and secondary STEAM education in Brazil, specifically in São Carlos, a leading technopolis of that country, also known as “SanCa Hub”. Supported by the dense network of eight science centers of the Federal University of São Carlos; other educational institutions; science, technology and innovation policies; influencers; and stakeholders, a verbal and mathematical literacy training ecosystem is being developed for literacy educators of São Carlos and region. The chapter also outlines an action profile to motivate these professionals to develop in their students a refined logical-mathematical ability in a transdisciplinary way, using STEAM methodology, and to “push” this system to the market. This case reveals the importance of the artistic and technological axis in the learning and teaching of Portuguese and Mathematics, reducing the gap between school and reality and promoting innovation practices for regional and national economic improvements based on technology development in strategic fields of interest considering the Society 5.0 model (Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, n.d.). To provide full context of the regional ecosystem, the authors include a description of the role of the local agriculture industry cluster, the adopted transdisciplinary education philosophy, how the technopolis and Triple Helix models relate to one another in the virtuous cycle of this city and region, and the lessons learned during the past 20 years regarding what today we call STEAM methodology.

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  1. 1.

    Agriculture Science, Biological and Health Sciences, Science in Management and Technology, Science and Technology for Sustainability, Hard Science and Technology, Humanities and Biological Sciences, Education and Human Sciences and Science of Nature.

  2. 2.

    Some information about São Carlos history was retrieved from:

  3. 3.

    Name of the local public elementary schools: E.M.E.B. Angelina Dagnone De Melo; E.M.E.B. Arthur Natalino Deriggi; E.M.E.B. Carmine Botta; E.M.E.B. Prof. Afonso Fioca Vitali; E.M.E.B. Prof. Antonio Stella Moruzzi; E.M.E.B. Profª Dalila Galli; E.M.E.B. Profª Janete Maria Martinelli Lia; E.M.E.B. Profª Maria Ermantina C. Tarpani; E.M.E.J.A. Austero Manjerona; Name of the local private elementary school: São Carlos School

  4. 4.

    USP: <>. In 1986, the Institute of Advanced Studies (Instituto de Estudos Avançados) (IEA) was inaugurated (

  5. 5.

    CDCC / USP is located in the building of the former Società Dante Alighieri in the city of São Carlos-SP. It was created in 1980 by professors from USP, especially Dietrich Sciel (1940–2012), as well as primary and secondary educators of the city. The CDCC’s main mission is to establish a system of didactic-pedagogical support for schools, their teachers and students, as well as to promote scientific and cultural diffusion activities.

  6. 6.

    UFSCAR and its research center named Institute for Advanced and Strategic Studies (Instituto de Estudos Avançados e Estratégicos) (IEAE/UFSCar) – (<>; <>)

  7. 7.

    Embrapa Instrumentation (Embrapa Instrumentação) (<>); Embrapa Southeast Livestock (Embrapa Pecuária Sudeste) (<>)

  8. 8.

    Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Sao Paulo (Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de São Paulo) (IFSP)

  9. 9.

    National Service for Industrial Training (Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial) (SENAI); Trade Social Service (Serviço Social do Comércio) (SESC); National Service for Trade Training (Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Comercial) (SENAC); Technology School (Faculdade de Tecnologia) (FATEC); Technical School (Escola Técnica) (ETEC)

  10. 10.

    Centro Universitário Central Paulista – UNICEP <>;

  11. 11.

    Virtual University of the State of Sao Paulo (Universidade Virtual do Estado de São Paulo) (UNIVESP):

  12. 12.

    Technology Park (Parque Tecnológico de São Carlos) (Parqtec): <>

  13. 13.

    e.g. Electrolux (<>); Faber Castell (<>); International Institute of Ecology (Instituto Internacional de Ecologia) (IIE) <>

  14. 14.

    Some of the most recent representative influencers of the city of São Carlos are introduced.

  15. 15.

    STEM to STEAM initiative of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

  16. 16.

    The Brazilian Educational System is structured in three groups: from 3 to 6 years old (childhood education – until first grade); from 6 to 14 years old (primary education – from first to ninth grade) and 15 to 17 years old (secondary education).

  17. 17.

    The Brazilian National Pact for Literacy in the Right Age (Pacto Nacional pela Alfabetização na Idade Certa) (PNAIC)

  18. 18.

    Psychopedagogy is an educational practice for effective learning considering emotional, cognitive and social aspects used in the fields of Education, Business and Healthcare.

  19. 19.

    National Robotics Competition: mathematical solutions for industrial problems ( Program of Rational Use of Water (Programa de Uso Racional da Água) (PURA): local government program in partnership with the main water treatment and distribution company (Sabesp) for water consumption consciousness in local and state schools ( Home Garden Project is held by the partnership between schools, UFScar, the Secretariat of Agriculture and Environment, and the company Electrolux ( Embrapa & Schools: program creates an atmosphere for learning and awareness of the interfaces of science and technology with the agricultural sector and the environment. (; SancaThon Future Farms challenges participants to create solutions to modernize agriculture. ( Technovation Summer School for Girls promotes the insertion of girls (10–18 years old) in hard science and technology (

  20. 20.

    These cities range from 10 to 200 miles away from São Carlos city.

  21. 21.

    It is a technique for making jewelry boxes ([1%20TO%20,100,000]&sort = popular).

  22. 22.

    Brockwood Park School method:

  23. 23.

    Bio info:; interviewed on Apr 24th, 2019.

  24. 24.

    Paula Souza Center (Centro Paula Souza) (CPS) is a governmental center of the State of São Paulo, linked to the Secretary of Economic Development. Present in 321 cities, the institution administers 223 Professional Schools (Etecs) and 73 state Colleges of Technology (Fatecs), with more than 297 thousand students in professional courses of technology in intermediate and high levels. More information, please visit <>.

  25. 25.

    Brazilian Science Academy (Academia Brasileira de Ciências) <>

  26. 26.

  27. 27.

  28. 28.

  29. 29.

    Small Business Innovation Research and Business Research Support Program from the FAPESP (Programa FAPESP Pesquisa Inovativa em Pequenas Empresas - PIPE and Programa de Apoio à Pesquisa em Empresas - PAPPE Fapesp):

  30. 30.

    Bio info:; Interviewed on Apr 24th, 2019

  31. 31.

    Interviewed on May second, 2019.

  32. 32.

    Center of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Centro das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo): a civil society of private law that aims to support the businessmen of São Paulo and represent them within the society and the Brazilian government. <>

  33. 33.

    Bio info:; Interviewed on Apr 16th, 2019

  34. 34.

    Bio info:; interviewed on Apr 16th, 2019

  35. 35.

    Chamber of commerce, venture and angel capital, IP lawyers and other business professionals

  36. 36.

    Bio info:; Interviewed on Apr 16th, 2019

  37. 37.

    Bio info:; Interviewed on Apr 16th, 2019

  38. 38.

    In 2007, the Institute for Transdisciplinary Collaborative Research & Education (T–CORE) is proposed as a new virtual research and development infrastructure housed within The Academy of Transdisciplinary Learning and Advanced Studies (TheATLAS)

  39. 39.

    Bio info:; interviewed on Apr 16th, 2019

  40. 40.

    Native language in Brazil.

  41. 41.

    STEM International Cooperation Program (Programa de Cooperação Internacional STEM): The action aims at the exchange of knowledge between educators and researchers to encourage curricular innovation and the creation of new strategies in the training of educators of basic education in the areas of science and mathematics. More information, please visit <>

  42. 42.

    CAPES - Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel, foundation of the Ministry of Education (MEC).

  43. 43.

    The New Talents Program (Programa Novos Talentos): aims to support proposals for extracurricular activities for educators and students in basic education, such as courses and workshops, aimed at disseminating scientific knowledge, at improving and updating the target audience and at improving the teaching of sciences in the Brazilian public schools. More information, please visit: <>

  44. 44.

    More information about Arts Association of São Carlos, please access:

  45. 45.

    Interviewed on Apr 16th, 2019

  46. 46.

    Bio info:

  47. 47.

  48. 48.

  49. 49.

    Interview with local news: Partnership with UFSCar resulted in a learning monitoring application. <>

  50. 50.

    More information: <>

  51. 51.

    Most recent innovation coworking space: ONOVOLAB ( a campus of innovation in a former tissue factory of 1908.

  52. 52.

    The Experimentoteca is a Science Laboratory that aims to rationalize the use of experimental material, in the same way that a public library facilitates the access of a large number of publications to an extensive public, in a loan system without costs to the user. (

  53. 53.

    Bio info: Interviewed on Apr 24th, 2019

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    Bio info: Interviewed on Apr 25th, 2019

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    Bio info:; < > interviewed on Apr 23rd, 2019

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    More info: <>

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    More info: <>

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    More info:

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    Bio info: Interviewed on Apr 24th, 2019

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    Society 5.0 is a human-centered society that balances economic advancement with the resolution of social problems by a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space. Society 5.0 was proposed in the fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan as a future society that Japan should aspire to. It follows the hunting society (Society 1.0), agricultural society (Society 2.0), industrial society (Society 3.0), and information society (Society 4.0).


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We thank Airton Garcia, José Galizia Tundisi, Orlando Mengatti Filho, Roberto Mori Roda, Ubiraci Moreno Pires Corrêa, José Manoel Marconcini, Paulo Sergio de Paula Herrmann, José Dalton Cruz Pessoa, Fernando Cesar Crnkovic, Paulo Renato Orlandi Lasso, Paulo Sérgio Camargo, Sérgio Henrique Vannucchi Leme de Mattos, Wilma Regina Barrionuevo, and Sylvio Goulart Rosa Júnior for their extraordinary support in being interviewed for bringing evidences that illustrate the validation of the content described in this chapter. We thank Caio de Souza Ferreira, Laura Mastrodi and Raquel Canola Zacour de Azevedo for developing the figures of this chapter as well as bringing knowledge on how geographical settings influence innovation and regional development. We also thank Débora Garcia and Nilce Chaves Gattaz for their great effort and valuable writing and translation skills.

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Gattaz, C.C., Falvo, S.R., Cruvinel, P.E. (2020). Verbal and Mathematical Literacy Education and STEAM in the Technopolis of São Carlos, Brazil. In: Zintgraff, C., Suh, S., Kellison, B., Resta, P. (eds) STEM in the Technopolis: The Power of STEM Education in Regional Technology Policy. Springer, Cham.

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