Public school in São João da Barra, supported by Açu Port, qualifies to the national stage of the Ministry of Science’s - Porto do Açu


Public school in São João da Barra, supported by Açu Port, qualifies to the national stage of the Ministry of Science’s

“Sustainable Vegetable Garden” project placed the school in the top 3 of the category

One of the public schools run by the Municipality of São João da Barra and supported by Açu Port’s Social Responsibility area qualified to the national stage of the Program for Popularization of Science and Technology, developed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. After participating in municipal and state science fairs with the “Sustainable Vegetable Garden” project, Chrisanto Henrique de Souza Municipal School, located in Açu, placed among the three finalists in the 8th and 9th grade category. Competitions were held during the 13th National Week of Science and Technology, whose theme this year was “Science feeding Brazil”.

Creation of a vegetable garden was one of the initiatives under the Environmental Education Program, developed by Açu Port in that school. The project started a little over a year ago, in partnership with the Agricultural and Livestock Research Agency of Rio de Janeiro State (PESAGRO-Rio). Students participated in the entire construction process: implementation, planting of seedlings and maintenance of the unit inside the school.

“It is really gratifying to see how far these kids got with our project. Our mission is to guide them on caring for the environment, healthy eating and having autonomy on what we plant and harvest. But, with the qualification of our project in a competition involving schools from 52 other cities, we realized that we achieved much more than our initial goal. There is no greater reward,” said Lucíola Marçal, Social Responsibility Analyst at Açu Port.

“This year, once again, a small town in Northern Rio de Janeiro State stood out in the Science and Technology State Fair, showing the ability and dedication of teachers and students in the municipal school network. Year after year, fortunately, we place among the best projects in the state,” said Marcelo Barbosa Almeida, Coordinator of the National Week of Science and Technology in São João da Barra.

Students who maintain the garden at Chrisanto Henrique de Souza School and introduced the project in science fairs were very excited after the qualification and intend to build on this knowledge.

“We always took special care of the garden and the theme of the National Week of Science and Technology fit the project. We learned a lot from lectures offered by Pesagro researchers. They explained every step of the process to create and maintain the garden. I never imagined that we would get so far with it. My dream before was to be a police officer, but now I know exactly what I want to be, for real: an agronomic engineer,” said Francirlei Junior Rangel Nogueira, one of the students who represented the project.

“I grew up watching my father and other rural producers taking care of the crop. I am already familiar with the land. But the care required by greenery is quite different and it was very productive to learn the method used in this specific case. By creating the garden, we also contribute to improve the quality of school food for us and our mates, because perishable food is not provided by the government. But thanks to the project, we plant, harvest and eat the vegetables in our cafeteria,” said Douglas Almeida, another student who represented the school in the competition.
The method was explained by Pesagro-Rio researchers such as José Márcio Ferreira, who had been guiding the students since the beginning of the project. “I am very pleased to see that students took the sustainable vegetable garden seriously and managed to stand out among other works presented in the municipal and state fairs. It was a really good surprise, which motivates us to develop new projects inside schools. After all, teenagers are the best in knowledge dissemination,” said José Márcio Ferreira.