This is an ambitious programme to bring 15-year-old secondary students and digital scientists together.
The programme is aimed at 15-year-olds following vocational, general or technology/science curricula and is based around giving classes the chance to meet a scientist. It is part of the new digital science and technology class introduced at the beginning of the 2019–2020 school year.
Creating an opportunity for students to chat with a scientist serves two objectives, the first being to discuss career pathways and what it's like working as a researcher, and the second, to illustrate that advanced-level research underpins our daily use of digital technology. The idea is to equip students with the knowledge to understand how the digital world in which they live is changing and, if possible, to encourage students to enter the field, particularly girls influenced by gender stereotypes – especially since historically the first IT engineers were in fact women.
Launch of the pilot phase
The Chiche programme will initially be rolled out in pilot locations until June 2020. While the annual SIF conference is being held in Lyon on 4 and 5 February, the first school visits will be held with the support of the Digital Learning Department of the Ministry for National Education and Youth and aid of the Lyon Board of Education. 15-year-old students from four secondary schools in the region will be visited by representatives from the project partners:
- Sylvie Alayrangues, head of the scientific council of the Fondation Blaise Pascal, and Pierre Paradinas, director of the SIF, will visit Lycée Jean-Paul Sartre in Bron;
- Ali Charara, director of the Institute for Information Sciences and Technologies of the CNRS, will visit Lycée la Martinière Montplaisir in Lyon;
- Marie Duflot-Kremer, deputy director for outreach at SIF, will visit Lycée Charlie Chaplin in Décines;
- Bruno Sportisse, CEO of Inria, and Serge Abiteboul, head of the strategic council of the Fondation Blaise Pascal, will visit Lycée Frédéric Fays in Villeurbanne.
Visits will also be held in schools in the Montpellier, Nancy-Metz, Nantes and Nice regions, while schools in other regions will join the project in the coming weeks.
A qualitative and quantitative assessment of the first phase will then be conducted before the project is rolled out across France.