Primary - CROMA 2.0
What is CROMA 2.0?
The CROMA 2.0 programme is a FAS initiative promoting connections between UAB and primary schools in Vallès Occidental where there are students at risk of social exclusion. We want to secure successful futures for our young participants by shoring up school bonding processes.
To do so, we tap the University's teaching and research potential and put UAB students in contact with children from the schools. The students’ main task is to spend time with the children and provide them with educational and emotional support, since their socioeconomic and personal circumstances pose challenges to the attainment of academic success.
CROMA stands for Cohesion, Reference point, Opportunity, Motivation and Autonomy.
If you would like to volunteer with CROMA 2.0, please see the information at this link.
CROMA 2.0 aims to foster links between the university and primary schools to encourage children to be interested in learning and bonding with their school regarding discoveries, education in real contexts for the university students and research at the service of society, both in the acquisition of new knowledge and return on results.
- Engage in work for equality and equal opportunities through the promotion of formal education and the ongoing education of children at risk of exclusion.
- Drive closer bonds between the primary schools and the university as an enriching relationship.
- Partner in the social returns of university research based on the development of research and action programmes that enable the testing of new models of education.
This project provides UAB research teams with insights into opportunities in line with the type of collaboration.
Collaborating research teams are asked to draft a proposal of activities and/or content to work on with the children. Once the collaborating research team has identified the themes, scopes or information to develop, the advisory research group is tasked with turning this material into workshops for primary school children. Finally, the student coordinators and volunteers for each school put the designed workshops into practice. The teams are also required to make a video presentation to provide the children with first-hand knowledge of scientific work, and to organise and promote the closing activity at the team's facilities on the UAB campus.
This type of relationship has been established with the Computer Vision Centre (CVC), the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), the Institute of Neurosciences (INc) and the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG).
The advisory research groups are tasked with ensuring a good pedagogical adaptation of the dedicated content proposed by the collaborating research groups. They are also responsible for providing training to the student coordinators of the workshops to help them in their work. Advisory groups to date have been: The Research Centre for Science and Mathematics Education (CRECIM), the Research Group on the Teaching of Social Sciences (GREDICS) and the Research and Study Centre for an Inclusive Society (CERSIN).
The assessor research group IGOP has designed a self-evaluation model that will enable the tracking of the CROMA 2.0 programme heads. To that end, information collection and systematisation has been designed, as well as a system of indicators that enables the collection and analysis of information on the impact of the programme's actions.
In short, this participation makes it possible to implement outreach and social return actions by research terms that now offer a learning opportunity and impact the creation of defined proposals to adapt scientific knowledge to primary school education.
CROMA is one of the longest-standing programmes in the FAS social education area and among the ones used as a model to later develop other programmes in this field. Since it began at the Les Fontetes school in Cerdanyola del Vallès in 2005, it has been expanded across many other towns and centres in the province and its structure and participants have been modified to adapt them to existing needs and resources at all times.
That is why, in the 2016-17 academic year, as part of the FAS Strategic Plan, we wanted to take stock of the overall programme and pivot it towards including a reflection on three areas: the debate around remedial education, homework and new educational models in Catalonia; an evaluation of the 12 previous years of the CROMA experience in Vallès Occidental with the network of city and town councils, schools, education services, etc.; and the significance of promoting socioeducational projects for FAS and UAB,
This process led to the new CROMA programme, now called 2.0, as an updated take on a highly productive previous experience posited on the idea that the UAB is committed to school success, a university keen to tap research and social action for the benefit of children at the risk of social exclusion and which does so with some of the most valuable elements it has: students receiving an education, research groups from multiple fields committed to society and a campus open to all.
CROMA 2.0 workshops
The remedial learning workshops are targeted at years 5 and 6 primary-school children (aged 10 to 12) and understood as a relaxed work environment distinct to the regular classroom and which can encourage good integration, attitude and motivation among the children.
The core activities at the workshops are divided into three terms. First-term sessions work on group dynamics on the basis of activities that boost self-esteem, group cohesion, respect and value for a diversity of personalities, cooperative work, discussion, expression, active schooling and individual and group participation. The goal is to create an optimal workspace where member diversity is valued to leverage it to power teamwork and jointly deliver on desired outcomes.
During terms two and three and on the back of the collaboration by the UAB teams of researchers and investigators, small projects are implemented around the experimental sciences and the arts, humanities and social studies. Two projects are developed in semester two and one more in semester three.
Throughout the year there is cross-cutting work on organisational habits and task planning and support is given to question-solving in learning so the children can acquire tools and strategies that favour autonomy.
Days: the workshops are held twice a week, Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.
Times: 4.30 to 6.30 pm or 5 to 7 pm, depending on the school This timetable is distributed into a 90-minute workshop with the children and a 30-minute evaluation of each session by the coordinator and team of volunteers.
Student ratio: 12 children per workshop.
The activity is held in six municipalities across Vallès Occidental: Barberà, Cerdanyola, Montcada i Reixac, Rubí, Sabadell and Terrassa. All up, CROMA engages with 240 primary school students from 20 schools. The plan is for 30-plus university students to participate in the programme every year: 10 scholarship students/coordinators, 1 support scholarship student and 20 student volunteers.
The tour of the UAB is the CROMA 2.0 end-of-year activity and offers participating children the chance to learn about the Campus from the abovementioned university students. It is a special day when the children do not do a regular class but tour the university grounds and, together with the children from the other schools and municipalities, learn about university life through play and educational activities.
To make the tour as meaningful as possible, the children are encouraged to visit the facilities of the researchers they already know, having worked with them on a related project throughout the year. The researchers must also present the results of one of the related research group projects in order to add value to the task performed by the children throughout the year. The university students that participated in the programme then prepare a gymkhana of discovery with tests, challenges and questions about the UAB campus.
The event features the engagement of different project stakeholders: the UAB students (coordinators and volunteers), a number of teachers from participating schools and, as visitors, councillors and officers from participating city and town councils, language and social cohesion advisors from the municipalities and representatives of other public and private institutions that take part in the programme, and all UAB professors, researchers and employees.
The CROMA tour activities are made possible thanks to the partnership of the different research teams involved in the programme:
- Research Centre for Science and Mathematics Education (CRECIM)
- Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG)
- Institute of Neurosciences (INc)
- Centre for Studies and Research for an Inclusive Society (CERSIN)
- Institute of Government and Public Policies (IGOP)
- Research Group on the Teaching of Social Sciences (GREDICS)
- Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA)
- Computer Vision Centre (CVC).
The visit to the UAB is the closing activity of the CROMA 2.0 programme. It is both game‑oriented and educational, with the focus on the children who have taken part in the workshops. After going to the primary schools all year, now the UAB volunteers invite the children to get to know their university. Throughout the day, the pupils explore the campus and learn about the studies that can be taken at the UAB through activities led by university lecturers. There are workshops prepared by the university's lecturers, departments, units and services.
In academic year 2016-2017, approximately 420 pupils took part in this trip from the 25 schools in which CROMA was implemented. They were accompanied all day by 100 monitors (10 grant-holders and 90 volunteers) and 45 teachers from the schools. They were also met by councillors and officers from the town councils involved, local advisers from the Catalan government education department, and officials and representatives from other organisations taking part in the programme, along with the students, lecturers and other UAB staff who facilitate the activities on a completely voluntary basis.
The activities of the CROMA visit rely on generous support from the following:
- Teaching staff from the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Communication Studies, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and the School of Engineering.
- Computer Vision Centre (CVC)
- Communication and Education Bureau
- Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA)
- Institute of Neurosciences (INc )
- Geographic Information and Remote Sensing Laboratory (LIGIT)
- Observatory on Equality
- Disability Service (PIUNE)
- Environmental volunteering programme
- Food Technology Service
Videos of some of the activities of the CROMA visit to the UAB: