TOM Uses Tech to Improve Communication, Decision Making


2021’s Jr Makers working with a Need-Knower at TOM Colombia.

Pablo Franco, Discoverer Staff Writer

TOM’s case selection process was broadcasted for the first time at TCS on October 21 with the goal of spreading empathy across the community.

TOM is an event dedicated to helping people in need through the use of STEM. The case selection arranged by TOM leaders Maria Hinestroza and Pablo Arango, allowed Grade 11 and 12 students to discuss with doctors and engineers from la Universidad de Antioquia and from the EIA if the profile was suitable for TOM.

“I felt very proud and confident because this work will be finally public, and many more will help make the best of this community,” Pablo Arango, Grade 11, said.

Over 40 students participated in the decision-making process by pointing out problems, sharing points of view, and presenting possible solutions. Still, the professionals and TOM committee members are the ones with the final verdict on the chosen cases.

I found them very motivated and very expectant of how this meeting was going to unfold. Students were very eager to participate and try in some way to help, even if it was online,” Andrea Martinez, Spanish Teacher, said.

During the meeting, students saw videos of the cases displaying the needs and aspirations of each individual profile. After each case, students had a space to comment via chat their opinions while professionals discussed and read their thoughts. As described by witnesses, watching this video was eye-opening for students. 

“Sometimes we are very far from many realities. It’s not that we don’t want to help, but what happens to the boys is that they don’t know, they don’t know,” Martinez said.

The goal of this new dynamic was for students to think critically, be innovative, use their knowledge of STEAM and increase participation in TOM.  

“It’s a way to show how technology and innovation have a life-changing role in the real world,” Hinestroza said.

7 cases were approved for people with various physical and psychological challenges, including moving disabilities, difficulty with interacting with others, issues establishing a routine, and learning disabilities among others.

“It’s thrilling to see we are given the opportunity to take responsibility and analyze the different factors that come into play for the event, ” Mariana Mesa, Grade 11, said.