“Hello everyone, I’m Francesco Bondesani and I’ve been elected president of the HOPE program with MIT for the year 2020-2021, so I would like to tell you something about it.“
The Liceo Scientifico “A. Roiti” began collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in November 2014, joining the Global Teaching Lab (GTL) project, whose aims are to promote international teaching experiences between MIT students related to their path of studies (following the concept of “Learn while teaching”), sharing methodologies and knowledge with the teachers of the host countries associated to them.
Following this collaboration the “A. Roiti ” was the winner of a scholarship for the teacher tutor of the project, Prof. Trevissoi, consisting in the possibility of participating in an international training at MIT in June 2015 (Science and Engineering program for Teachers, SEPT). During this experience the teacher had the opportunity to learn about different teaching methods, in particular during the “Hands-on Physics” workshop held by Edward Moriarty of the MIT Edgerton Center.
Thanks to the support of the Headmaster of the Liceo “A. Roiti “and of the Physics Dept. of Unife, a working group was created within the school which allowed the birth of the “Hands on Physics Experience (HoPE) with MIT” project in January 2018 through an intensive week of long workshops and hands-on activities with the presence of Ed Moriarty and his staff from MIT Edgerton Center. On this occasion, students of the last three years of the Liceo were involved, working day by day for the first time on a physics project (a glockenspiel played with copper pipes played by solenoid motors, controlled by a pendulum wave) together with the MIT’s team. The week ended with a meeting for high school and university teachers, entirely conducted by the students who had participated in the project, where the guys shared what had been achieved and learned. The meeting was organized by the Department of Physics of UniFe which has since been a partner of the Liceo Roiti in the project: undergraduates and graduates accompany the activities as tutors.
On the occasion of the presentation talk of the HoPE project at SEPT2018, there were numerous requests for international collaboration (Brazil, Argentina, California, Massachusetts, Germany,…). The most interesting was the one with SFN (Schülerforschungszentrum Nordhessen) in Kassel (Germany), a twenty-year-old reality in which students from different high schools can, independently or together in teams, carry out research and projects of their own interest. There were several opportunities for discussion and stimulation, which led Roiti students to participate in the SFN Schulerkongress in June 2019 and September 2020. at the Congress …
In the autumn of 2018 the Liceo Roiti presented its activities at the CIC school in Barcelona (Spain) and at the “Copernico” Liceo Scientifico in Bologna. Although the organizational modalities are not the same in these schools, a collaboration was born since then that continues to this day: the referring teachers work together and with MIT researchers on a research project aimed at studying the skills in the field of democracy and the modality of AATlavoro is able to promote. In addition, in the summer of 2019, students from Liceo Roiti, from the CIC school of Barcelona and from the Physics Department of UniFe had the opportunity to participate in the summer school Engineering Design Workshop (EDW) of MIT Edgerton Center. The experience gained subsequently, also during the remote learning-period, made it possible to create the same summer school in the summer of 2020, in presence in Ferrara but remotely from MIT and the collaborating international schools.
The initial structure of the project (January 2018) consisted of three teachers and two laboratory technicians (physics and computer science) entirely managing the organization and implementation of the activities, while the participating students were selected by their respective science teachers quickly changed shape. Already since September 2018, students have offered to become part of the leadership of the program, in order to help the teachers to manage everything and provide the best opportunities to each year’s newcome students. Today students have an organized structure with a President, Vice-President / s, Mentors and first-year Students; each one is a significant voice and has an important responsibility for the good progress of the project and for the organization of activities. At the same time, there was a gradual but significant increase in the percentage of women participating in the project, which this year (2020) for the first time equated that of men; a great success for a STEAM project.