A Discussion with Cata Henao
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
Q: Cata, it's great to sit down with you today to talk about your experiences working with schools as a vendor. You must learn so many interesting things as you are chatting with different people around the world. Can you first tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you end up in Canada? What types of companies have you worked for, and what are you doing now for SuperSci?
Cata: Hello there, Thank you very much for the opportunity. I am Colombian and I am 38 years old. First, I am a mother of two young children by trade I am an Engineering Administrator with a Master's Degree in Systems Dynamics. I am passionate about education with more than 12 years of experience in the Education sector, private, public, and NGOs. Since 2018 I have been working with educational platforms in User Experience, Customer Success, and Business Development.
While Colombia is my home, I have always loved Canada. My husband and I wanted to have an international experience to improve our language and learn about cultures. Canada seemed the best option to accomplish these goals, so we did the paperwork and arrived in Canada about 8 months ago.
At SuperSci my role is an Account Executive, my main task is to promote the company to connect with schools that meet the profile of the platform, conduct pilot tests, present the benefits we offer and one of the most important tasks is to think of new strategies on how to reach different countries and markets and how to hook new customers and keep the ones we have, all with the aim of improving the way in which students learn science.
Q: It sounds like you get the opportunity to speak to a lot of educators from around the world. What differences do you notice as you chat with professionals from different countries? Are some countries focused on different areas or styles of learning than others?
Cata: Education differs greatly between rich and poor countries in private and public education, for example, public education in Canada is excellent, while public education in underdeveloped countries lacks opportunities and strategies, however, some private institutions in poor countries bet on better education, such as the model of Montessori or Cambridge institutions, educational models that encourage students to be closer to science and culture, with technology and communications as a more globalized tool, which achieves greater learning opportunities and prepares them in a better way to face the obstacles of educational and professional life.
Q: It is no secret that the world has gone through a pretty significant change and challenge over the last few years. Now that most areas are back to an in-person class model, what changes have you heard about in the classrooms? What things seem more important to administrators than they were in the past?
Cata: In many institutions, learning continues to be magisterial with teaching to all equally, there is no personalization, students have reduced their intention to read and learn about some subject, such as technology, science or physics have been taken as the least important topics. Many times these subjects are taught by teachers without professional knowledge in the area, which generates a gap of knowledge and interest on the part of students in learning these essential systems.
Q: With SuperSci, what excites you the most about the offering? What kind of feedback are you hearing from administrators about the platform which combines online learning, physical books, and exciting technologies like Augmented Reality?
Cata: The SuperSci program has wonderful elements, I especially love the diagrams and the interactive way of imparting knowledge. With the help of augmented reality, since children enjoy learning in a fun way, we are able to engage in learning with greater ease and lengthen the retention of material in the child's mind. In addition, it is very important that the administrators of the institutions have remarked that they love the material provided by SuperSci, as they find that it works perfectly to complement their classes.
Q: If there was one thing you could change about the education systems that you work with now with a snap of your fingers, what would it be and why?
Cata: If I could change anything, it would be to improve the possibility that children
learn to read from an early age and that reading is a fundamental part of their education. Studies have shown that encouraging reading at an early age has a greater impact on the development of cognitive activities. This is very important, since this way we can awaken the taste for knowledge and encourage the development of countries.
Q: Thank you so much Cata. Let's catch up soon.