The Expérience Ouverture program

In 2009, École des Ponts ParisTech, in partnership with the DévelopPonts student association, initiated a tutorship program called “Expérience Ouverture”. The nature of this partnership has been established since January 2012 through an agreement between the School and the association.


The program include 2 types of action

  • Tutorship takes place in groups managed by student volunteers from the School. The program includes: various trips and fun workshops mainly in the Paris region, on 10 Wednesdays in the school year, from 3:15 pm to 6:30-7 pm Every year, almost 60 high school students from Champs-sur-Marne and Noisiel take part.
  • Academic support classes are given by volunteer first-year student engineers from the School, to more than 75 high school students from Champs-sur-Marne and Noisiel every Thursday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm on our premises.

Project objectives and procedures

“Expérience Ouverture” is aimed at high-school (collège and lycée) students from disadvantaged backgrounds, to encourage them to develop their curiosity and awareness of science.

The idea is to overcome cultural and psychological barriers to higher education. They are selected on 3 specific criteria: motivation, social background, gender mix.  

Since 2008, Cordée Gerschwin has continued to grow.

It began with 16 high school students from 2 schools in Val Maubuée (Luzard College in Noisiel and Armand Lanoux in Champs-sur-Marne) and 8 student engineers.
At the beginning of the 2014/2015 academic year, there were 34 first-year engineering students supporting more than 150 high school pupils (77 girls and 73 boys) from 4 schools in the area.

  • 1 “collège”: Armand-Lanoux in Champs-sur-Marne
  • 3 “lycées”: Descartes in Champs-sur-Marne, René Cassin and Gérard de Nerval in Noisiel

Educational content and topics

Every year, one topic is chosen as a framework for activities activities:

  • “Water” in 2009-2010 (storage, supply, distribution, economics);
  • “Sustainable development” in 2010-2011;
  • “Energy” in 2011-2012;
  • “Science and society” in 2012-2013;
  • “Architectures: from the infinitely small to the infinitely large” in 2013-2014;
  • In 2014-2015: “Arts and Sciences” (for collégiens) and “Transportation: humans, material, energy” (for lycéens)

The different educational activities, a combination of visits, practical experiments, theoretical explanations, feedback sessions, are run by the tutors with the help of the referring teachers from the partner schools. At the end of the year, a feedback and “degree” award session on School premises brings together high-school and lycée students, school directors, involved teachers, parents, and figures from the academic and political worlds. At these events, it is the school and lycée pupils themselves who present the experiments and visits and describe their experience.