One day, a lifelong journey...!
The United Nations proclaimed January 24 as International Day of Education. Yet, while it remains crucial to establish symbolic landmarks to raise awareness on society issues, creating a new momentum for education across countries is not a matter of days: it’s a continuous effort and lifelong journey! For 7 years, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes has been supporting women and men who act for a more sustainable world, and a more equal society through their work in the fields of education and research. Today is an opportunity for the organization to reassert its commitment to the global action for education, as a lever for peace and development.
The year 2023 marks the mid-point since the adoption of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. Beyond being a goal in itself, a more inclusive, equitable and quality education for all across the globe is indeed central to accelerate progress towards all SDGs against the backdrop of growing inequalities and climate change. Driven by the firm conviction that such an agenda will not happen without science and innovation, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes is putting its scientific knowledge and know-how at the service of education. How? By leveraging the power of 3D and collective intelligence to transform practices, find new paths for learning and stimulate interest in scientific and technological fields among younger generations, giving them the ambition and tools to be the thinkers, inventors, builders and leaders of tomorrow.
> Read more here about how to enhance education through virtual universes.
Let’s have a look at some initiatives supported by La Fondation all around the globe, targeting children, medical students, and also teachers.
Engaging young people around science today is vital to drive progress in the future – and it is even more critical at an early age. With the support of La Fondation in the US, the Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning and Creativity (RCTLC) of Boston has been developing academic support programs targeting elementary school students, namely from disadvantaged backgrounds (the project at a glance here). Their ambition is to spark interest in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) through positive, fun and creative learning methods like hands-on 3D design and fabrication. Along with these classroom-based curricula, the Reynolds Center also engaged a partnership with the renowned youth-services organization YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) in MetroWest Boston to introduce engineering design to young learners in a fun way, both in school and out of school. The afterschool and summer camp “literacy-meets-STEM” program for example uses the power of storytelling to foster soft skills and creativity.
The value of virtual worlds is getting more and more obvious in various fields of Medical Sciences, one example being the use of 3D modeling and simulation to create prostheses and implants that can be adapted to every patient’s needs. Doctors now benefit from these to practice more precise and personalized medicine, from diagnosis to treatment, surgery and patient care. However, in many Indian Medical Schools, future doctors and medicine professionals are not provided with insightful knowledge nor efficient hands-on training on 3D technologies. In this context, La Fondation in India supports the MIT World Peace University of Pune in building a program that provides medical students and residents with a training curriculum and basic hands-on learning workshops on 3D technologies, 3D modelling, 3D scanning and printing, as well as their Augmented and Virtual Reality applications. Four training sessions were already conducted, with five professors trained, and more than 80 doctors coming from rural areas and mid-size cities.
Education and skills development must keep pace with the fast-changing needs and challenges of the world we live in, and of the industry that supports it. An initiative called Professeurs en Entreprise, led by the CGénial foundation and supported by La Fondation Dassault Systèmes in France, offers high-school teachers and other education professionals the opportunity to visit production, innovation and R&D sites within industrial companies across the country, and meet there scientists, engineers or technicians. By immersing themselves in the reality of the workplace, teachers can better understand the production or technical challenges companies are facing, and thus be able to better guide students in their career plans, illustrate industry-related issues through concrete examples, or ignite stronger interest for scientific and technical fields.
These are only a few examples amongst many other initiatives that La Fondation Dassault Systèmes supports in the field of education, with the end ambition to help younger generations be successful in their future work lives, enabling them to contribute to build a more sustainable future. Find more about some of the supported projects here.