A meaning for sciences and technology: giving the opportunity to imagine the future
As an association of researchers relying on a network of more than 500 volunteering scientists, L’Arbre des Connaissances set up the Apprentis Chercheurs program with the objective of bringing together both scientific and academic worlds. The principle is to connect an either private or public local research center with a school - junior high or high school - to launch a virtuous loop of discovery and learning.
La Fondation Dassault Systèmes’s involvement in the Apprentis Chercheurs program comprises three important stages: candidate students’ selection, hosting of the work groups in the 3DS premises, and each team’s carried-out project’s final presentation.
The selection stage allows to detect motivated students who have applied, and therefore to assess their appetite for research and discoveries and if they are willing to commit in an ambitious scientific project.
During 8 sessions throughout the year, Dassault Systèmes volunteers welcome the selected students in their office, to work on a specific project related to science and technology. Each team is made of a pair of students, to whom 3DS tutors then give a tour of their activities and guide them through scientific and technological knowledge to participate in a real project as a team member. The themes are predefined by the hosts, and the students are managed and tutored in that specific frame. New techniques of 3D modeling, simulation or immersive reviews brighten each project in the eyes of young people, whose ambition is to go further. Proximity is key to bring together these two entities, which would otherwise never have interacted.
To conclude school year, a dedicated event is planned: the “Congrès des Apprentis Chercheurs”. This is an opportunity for the students to add a communication layer to emphasize the outcome of their work. The pairs are also supported by the 3DS teams in this presentation stage, which can be a training for their future life as professionals.
Different from the usual teaching methods, the considered pedagogical model is based on the project’s practice: reference knowledge and know-how come from identified and solved problems. Collaborative work - and how it is ultimately presented - leverage the whole process of teaching by example. Moreover, while the students benefit from a close proximity with the worlds of science and technology, researchers, engineers and technicians open up to social and education contingencies. Finally, careers in the industry get less mysterious and more attractive to young people.
Adopted by all United Nations Member States, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. La Fondation Dassault Systèmes supports L’Arbre des Connaissances with its Apprentis Chercheurs program, meeting four of these goals: Quality education, Gender equality, Decent work and economic growth, and Partnerships for the goals.
L’Arbre des Connaissances’ mission is to instill a taste for science in young people, but also to develop their skills, open their minds and encourage them to succeed. While also reaffirming the role of science within culture, they contribute to the evolution of professionals’ practices by putting them in contact with youngsters. In addition, L’Arbre des Connaissances embeds research through territories and fosters synergy around science between professionals of the research, education and culture areas.
The Apprentis Chercheurs program offers middle and high school students an opportunity to become enlightened citizens through a mutually rewarding interaction between professionnals of the scientific and academic worlds.