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  • Manon Ballester

21st century skills within MAGNETICS

If the technological bricks prototyped in the MAGNETICS project will be centered on the interoperability of programming platforms and electronic boards, the project is nonetheless part of a broader approach to the development of digital skills in the service of creativity, the development of critical thinking and collaboration. Our commitments in terms of skills and knowledge are developed below.


The MAGNETICS project aims to participate to the acquisition of targeted skills in the learning of STEAM topics, uniting mathematics, science, technology, engineering, and the arts, where the integration of this last component helps encourage creativity and innovation. Inclusion of the arts in STEM programs helps to generate more interest and motivation towards science subjects by creatively developing critical thinking and participating in improving inclusiveness in science learning (especially the integration of women in scientific careers, but also on a larger scale, participate in the vision of an inclusive school taking into account the singularity of each student and their personal interests, stimulated by creativity, by promoting STEAM via less concepts technical, and more technical-creative and societal).

In order to achieve this objective, the MAGNETICS project proposes to equip teachers in order to develop within the school, interdisciplinary projects participating in the promotion of the project-based approach aiming to "understand the meaning [of] learning in crossing them ", and to" implement new skills "(Canopé Network).

In the service of this vision, the MAGNETICS project is part of the objectives of National Education as defined in the communication "Digital technology at the service of the School of confidence" by supporting "the acquisition of skills in the field of digital technology, and more particularly computer science, [...] through concrete experiences that students can live and pursue [...] "and stressing that" digital manufacturing, robotics and electronics are important levers of motivation, promotion or even inclusion.The ministry therefore wishes to develop very widely the manufacturing and creation activities around digital objects [...] this type of activity, which promotes the new skills of the 21st century, the learning computer code enables students to discover and acquire different problem-solving methods from traditional school approaches. ".


In the service of the development of STEAM skills, the project will strengthen students' knowledge in the field of computer programming. As underlined by the Ministry in its communications on the use of digital at school, "digital skills are present in all areas of the base and in the curricula of disciplines. Digital teaching is reinforced in high school with a teaching" computer and digital creation "(ICN)". In addition, since the publication of Special Official Bulletin No. 1 of January 22, 2019, the teaching of digital sciences and technology (SNT) has been officially scheduled for the general and technological second class from the start of the 2019 school year. The ambition of the project MAGNETICS will make it possible to reinforce this learning by decompartmentalizing it from the learning of scientific, technical and artistic subjects, and by offering a vision of programming beyond the algorithmic approach.

Thus, the integration of coding will be present in all the subjects covered by the STEAM base, in the format of a tool used to solve complex scientific problems or launch creative, connected and interactive artistic projects.


Based on the development of programming skills, MAGNETICS will also make it possible to approach the theme of connected objects, predominant "in all areas of social life" which "encourages the use of these various interactive and communicating products at the service of learning" ( Digital at the service of the school of trust, Through concrete interdisciplinary activities, using the MAGNETICS prototype to facilitate interaction between teachers, the student will be able to approach several technical and scientific concepts, while approaching the operation of sensors, electronic cards and programming. For example, within the challenge "Develop an air quality monitoring system to better understand the effects of greenhouse gases", the student could address the entire spectrum of STEAM:

  • Learning mathematics by using the data collected to illustrate the challenges of statistics and probabilities (which can be visualized from middle school using Scratch for example),

  • Sciences (in particular biology and chemistry), by working to understand a complex phenomenon,

  • Technology and engineering through the development of a complete system based on a set of sensors located inside a greenhouse and transmitting a live stream of environmental and chemical data (developed using MakeCode and / or CircuitPython) and connected to the Lora network,

  • The arts by creating artistic challenges related to environmental issues.


Through the commitments presented above, MAGNETICS will contribute to the development of key skills of the 21st century, based in particular on the developments carried out by LINE (Laboratory of Innovation and Digital for Education) under the direction of Margarida Romero:

  • Critical thinking: the ability to develop independent critical thinking. Analysis of ideas, knowledge and processes related to a system of values ​​and judgments proper, responsible thinking that is based on criteria and sensitive to the context of others

  • Collaboration: the ability to develop a shared understanding and to work in a coordinated manner with several people for a common goal

  • Creativity: design of a solution deemed new, innovative and relevant to respond to a problem situation and adapted to the context

  • Computational thinking: set of cognitive and metacognitive strategies related to knowledge and process modeling, abstraction, algorithms, identification, decomposition and organization of complex structures and logical sequences

  • Problem solving: the ability to identify a problem situation for which the process and the solution are not known in advance. Ability to determine a solution, build it and implement it effectively

This will be reflected in the pedagogy by project, by the methodologies of experimentation, the initiatives and challenges, illustrating the usefulness and the modes of development of the results of the MAGNETICS project.


Finally, the MAGNETICS project is part of a larger initiative to train teachers in the use of digital and IoT tools in their classes. Thus, the implementation of the project will include a part of training in collaboration with the Inspés of the academies of Aix-Marseille and Nice contributing to the current reflection carried out by the ministry on the integration of digital as a method and tools for teaching in the 21st century. This training will be oriented around three main modules:

  • Understanding of programming tools and electronic cards

  • The integration of these tools in a project approach

  • The use of digital technology in an ethical and responsible framework


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