“We put the students in the shoes of a scientist”: a “Newton room” at a university in Angers to give a taste for science


Faced with criticism linked to the baccalaureate reform, the Ministry of National Education had decided to offer 1h30 more mathematics to students who did not take the specialty at the beginning of the 2022 academic year. But this remains optional and some regret the lack of interest. young people for this subject. To give students a taste for science, educational teams try to innovate with the Newton Room. This extraordinary room has just opened at the Félix Landreau school in Angers, in Maine-et-Loire. >> Back to school: we explain why implementing the ‘maths option’ at first has become a puzzle Please take off your shoes, the course is in socks and a robe white on the shoulders. “We’re trying to make the robot work,” says a teenager. These sixth graders are discovering the Newton Room, a concept that originated in Norway. “The idea is to immerse them a little in a laboratory environment, explains Stanislas Gabrovsek, the reference teacher, making them work barefoot, because we will work a lot on the floor and in white coats to put a little on the shoes. of a scientist It’s psychological but it’s important.” The Newton room at the Collège Félix Landreau in Angers is funded by the Boeing company, June 2022. (BORIS HALLIER / RADIO FRANCE) In this old classical classroom there is a large touch screen, a platform and robots that the students have to program. “It works with software, we have to calculate how many turns the wheels have to make to be as close as possible to the track,” explains one student. This state-of-the-art equipment was funded by the Boeing company and is available to all university students in the department. “We have a place where interested professors come to reserve a place,” explains Stanislas Gabrovsek. All the equipment we have there is equipment that we could not acquire in a normal university. Each robot box is worth 500 euros, so we have fourteen of them.” In the Newton room at the Collège Félix Landreau in Angers, students from Maine-et-Loire are invited to discover the science of a funny way, j uny de 2022. (BORIS HALLIER / RADIO FRANCE) “What is the difference between the distance traveled and the distance you have calculated?”, asks a teacher. “Let’s put 18.4 minus 17.8”, answers the student with the approval of the teacher. In a report submitted to the Ministry of Education in March 2022, experts pointed out that science education was not adapted to students’ future lives. For mathematics teacher Romain Alfandari, today’s session completes his lessons: “When I see what it took me to teach them in a year, we see that finally, maybe that’s it, they would retain better with the concrete side.” Also, it doesn’t necessarily always work with the same students. Students who aren’t necessarily good will find themselves good at the practical side and have a self-confidence: “Oh, I’ve got it, it’s for all maths!” But it is difficult to find an application that can be used on a daily basis.” Romain Alfandari, mathematics teacher at franceinfo A practical workshop that the students seem to like. “We have fun, we do things like scientists”, concludes one of them .. A “Newton room” at a university in Angers to give a taste for science – A report by Boris Hallier listen
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