École des Ponts ParisTech is involved in several forms of societal engagement. In 2009, for example, it initiated a tutorship program called the “Expérience Ouverture” with several local schools. In addition, every year it takes part in the national Cordées de la Réussite initiative as head of the Gershwin rope with Académie de Créteil. Every year, the students run the programme to support high school and college students on their path to higher education.
Ecole 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, Noisiel and Noisy-le-Grand every Thursday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm on our premises. Since the Covid19 crisis, support courses have been provided at a distance.
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 2019/2020 academic year, there were 41 first-year engineering students supporting more than 150 high school pupils from 6 schools in the area.
- 2 “collèges”: Armand-Lanoux in Champs-sur-Marne and Victor Hugo in Noisy-le-Grand,
- 4 “lycées”: Descartes in Champs-sur-Marne, René Cassin and Gérard de Nerval in Noisiel, Evariste Galois in Noisy-le-Grand.
Educational content and topics
Every year, one topic is chosen as a framework for activities activities:
- The protection of the environment in 2020-2021,
- Curiosity and discovery in 2019-2020,
- Observe and create in 2018-2019
- The engineer in the heart of nature in 2017-2018
- Between engineering and utopia in 2016-2017.
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.