Brazil is without question one of the countries where the success of La main à la pâte astonishes even those who acted as its first ambassadors. After ten years of existence, the project is well established within Brazil’s federal and regional institutions and it has become a firm promoter of La main à la pâte in the region. The rapid grafting and independent development of a programme – ABC na Educação Científica.  A Mão na Massa – was made possible by the patient work undertaken to adapt the project, the unreserved commitment of a small number of people and an alliance between many partners, both Brazilian and French.

It all began during a study visit to France organised in 2001 for a group of Brazilian education specialists. The discovery of La main à la pâte aroused such interest that after an agreement was signed in May be- tween the two Academies of Science, an operation called Mão na massa, similar in spirit and name to La main à la pâte, started in São Pau- lo in June, producing learning packages, translating documents for the classroom from the French website as well as beginning to produce its own resources in Brazil. In August of the same year, following a professional development session given by La main à la pâte in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the project started up in 60 classes in three cities, supported by active professional development for the teachers and by the creation of banks of experimental material available on loan.

Since then, thanks to the signing of partnership agreements in 2001 and 2006, the work of all the Brazilian partners and the support of the French Embassy in Brazil, exchanges between the countries have continued. These include study visits and teacher professional development organised in France and Brazil; Brazilian participation in the La main à la pâte international seminar in 2011 and 2012; and the translation, adaptation and publication of supporting documents into Portuguese (Teaching Science in Schools, SCEREN, 2002). These activities took place on the basis of real reciprocity, since Brazilian initiatives are numerous and sustained.

This rapid progress has encouraged Brazilian participants to think about the impact and follow-up of their operation. A mão na massa is looking at the crucial issue of pupil evaluation in order to draw up a clear overview of the positive effects of the inquiry approach in schools and to consider modalities for extending the programme to secondary education. With this newly acquired process, they launched a pilot project to extend the project to middle schools, which has led to the design of new educational tools. The extension of the programme to young adults is also among the priorities of the Brazilian programme.

The Brazilian Academy of Sciences also assisted in the creation of the Latin American website Indagala, which mirrors the La main à la pâte website.


ABC na Educação Científica - a Mão na Massa - Académie des sciences du Brésil, Rua Anfilófio de Carvalho
20030-060 Rio de Janeiro
22° 54' 28.9476" S, 43° 10' 28.5528" W
Diógenes de Almeida Campos, coordinateur du programme ABC na Educação Científica – A mão na Massa Brazilian science Academy dac[AT]