The national “Cordées de la réussite” program aims to combat self-censorship and act as a lever for equal opportunity. Initiated in September 2021, and supported by ENSTA Bretagne, the “Cordées” programs involve several middle schools and high schools in Brest and its surroundings.
For Cécile Plaud, a professor in social sciences and in charge of this program,
The outcome of this year's "Cordées de la réussite" program is very positive. Pupils, students and teachers appreciated the actions taken. We will continue this program next year, with the ambition of making it permanent.
Maëlys, Matthieu and Thomas, three engineering students from ENSTA Bretagne, accompanied a group of 8 high school pupils in their first year of high school at the Lycée de l’Elorn in Landerneau with the aim of "showing them about sciences". For this purpose, the three students suggested that they build a small wind turbine. During 7 work sessions spread over 5 months, the high-school pupils used various tools to design and draw their small wind turbine on computers and then build it.
Looking back on this very rewarding experience, Maëlys said:
"We had a great time together with them and they were very willing and keen to learn. While, to begin with, the project was fairly abstract for them, over time, we saw a change in their work. They completed and were proud of the project, as were we.
They had fun in doing so, which was a very important point for us. I'm convinced that getting people to find out about and come to like science in a playful, tangible way is a good way to train tomorrow's scientists.
This experience allowed them to see what was possible and achievable in the field of science. They were thus able to find out about and understand jobs they had never heard of before. I think this can really open their eyes and show them that the various engineering professions are within their reach.
Maëlys was lucky enough to benefit from this program when she was in high school. As such, she wanted to play an active role in it in turn:
“Through the "Cordées" program, I was able to meet very interesting people and find out about new fields of study. It developed my inclination for science in a less academic way. So, I wanted to repeat the experience the other way round this time!”