Hello everyone I’m Francesco Bondesani, class of 2021, I attend the sportive course at Liceo Scientifico A. Roiti and I am the president of the 2020-2021 edition of the Hands on Physics Experience.
My experiences with the HoPE started from it’s beginning in the year 2018 when I took part in the two projects first attempted at Liceo Roiti and the following summer a classmate of mine and I had the occasion to attend the Engineering Design Workshop at the MIT Edgerton Center.
In the year 2018-2019 I was part of the first generation of mentors: students who wanted to “give back” what the program did to them so that new students could benefit of the same experience. In October I was also part of the delegation of Liceo Roiti that went to CIC Batxillerat (a high school in Barcelona) to share our experiences and our way of running this innovative program that was the HoPE.
In the summer 2020 I attended my second year of EDW at the MIT Edgerton Center, this time with four other students from my High School, six students from the Physics Department of the University of Ferrara and two students from the CIC Batxillerat. There I started working on what was going to become an everlasting project for me: a soft robotic glove, which I designed in collaboration with an MIT PhD Student, who was developing the motor I use.
In the year 2019-2020 I attended an exchange program, so I spent the year studying at the Arlington High School, in Arlington (MA). This gave me the opportunity to attend the seminars run by Ed Moriarty at the MIT Edgerton Center, where I kept working on my soft robotic glove in collaboration with MIT students. During that year I also was part of a team of MIT students and instructors that went twice to Ferrara and Barcelona to run STEAM workshops in the local high schools.
In the summer 2020 (during the which I took part in the first remote-learning version of the EDW) I was elected as President of the mentors of the HoPE, so now I am not following a specific project anymore, but I’m taking care of organizing the whole structure of the program day by day, coordinating our mentors with the teachers and with our contact at the Edgerton Center.
It’s easy for me to say that the HoPE completely changed my life, but it’s much more difficult to put into words how it did so. I think the most important thing this program taught me is how to be a good person: I learned the value of team-working, of responsibility and of taking care of each other; I learned how to approach challenges that seems impossible from their beginning to their end and to end up successful every time; I learned the importance of leadership and of trusting your leader. My hope is that this program will continue and expand, so that always more students could have the opportunity of enjoying this activity as much as I did, and I will do everything I can to make sure that this happen