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A journey to the heart of computational sciences and technologies for Bordeaux secondary school pupils


As part of the "Objective 2015" academic programme, the educational district of Bordeaux has adopted a proactive policy of encouraging pupils to take up science courses and careers in research while working towards developing an effective pathway from secondary through to university education.

It is within this context that the Inria Bordeaux–Sud-Ouest Research Centre and the Bordeaux local educational authority is organising the first computational sciences discovery day for Bordeaux secondary school pupils in their final year studying IT and computational sciences, and their teachers :

On Monday 25 February 2013, from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm, the Inria Bordeaux–Sud-Ouest Centre will play host to around 50 final-year pupils studying IT and computational sciences. This unique occasion will give the centre's researchers and engineers a chance to share their passion for computational sciences with young people and introduce them to the realities of public-sector research.

A new kind of education for digital-savvy young people

Now that IT is a science in itself and forms part of our everyday lives without us even noticing it, it makes complete sense to integrate information and communication technologies into the world of education. Since September 2012, this has been a reality for 25 secondary schools within the educational district of Bordeaux, which have started using the teaching tool associated with the programme.

The objective is clear: to make young men and women aware of the diverse range of jobs within the digital world in order to improve their access to the many career opportunities provided by computational sciences.

Immersion in the world of research

The students will be treated to four demonstrations designed to promote interaction with the researchers: computational sciences and healthcare, robotics, IT and the environment, and orchestration of communication devices for personal assistance. Immersed in the researchers' world, the pupils will be able to interact with Nao, a humanoid robot, via a 3D camera, or take part in a thought-powered experiment via a brain-computer interface.

At this stage in their education, pupils are faced with a number of questions: what courses lead to research jobs? What should my career objectives be after following a science track through school? Researchers, engineers and HR experts will be on hand to answer these questions and more during an informal discussion at the end of the afternoon.

Plans for the future

This trial run has big ambitions. The Inria Bordeaux–Sud-Ouest Centre aims to further develop the programme by inviting final-year IT and computational science pupils to the Fête de la Science [Science Festival] in October 2013. In 2014, the plan is to expand the programme to include secondary schools outside the Metropolitan District of Bordeaux.

Keywords: Rectorat de l'académie de Bordeaux Enseignement informatique et sciences du numérique Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest