Concrete improved the education of kids in Mexico.

Nearly 20 years ago, a Mexican social programme, named Piso Firme (translates to Firm Floor), gave $150 worth of concrete to poor families in Coahuila state. The concrete was dumped through the family’s door and they were shown how to make a floor with it.  As a result of this, economists found that the education of the children in these families dramatically improved.

Why? Because the concrete floors stopped children from being infected by parasitic worms, like they were when living with dirt floors. So now the kids were less ill and went to school more often, thus improving their education. What a brilliant knock-on effect.

I’ve always been a fan of concrete, I’ve always thought it’s an incredibly interesting material to build with and that it gets a bad rap. Who can hate on it after reading this?

Thanks to the BBC for this one.

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