The organization of the course involves four stakeholders: university teachers, university students, school teachers and school students. It begins in the fall semester with the search for school teachers who volunteer to host students in their classrooms through an information circular.
At the beginning of the spring semester, the students meet with the university teachers to define the theme of the year. They then form groups in order to put together a learning package for the school students on one of the subjects proposed by the school teachers who will host them (this one must concern micro-organisms). The working groups are free to choose the level of the class in which they will intervene and contact the teacher in charge.
The university students prepare, in an autonomous way, a strategy for transmitting knowledge on a specific scientific subject to a non-specialist public. The scientific subject and the way it is approached are discussed between the university students, the teachers of the classes concerned, a HEP supervisor and the academic supervisors in order to involve all the partners.
The students discuss with the university teaching team, which ensures the scientific relevance of the activities on the chosen subject. These activities aim to be fun and educational. For example, the projects can propose the creation of a tunnel to highlight the movements of small mammals, the observation of fauna with the naked eye, a magnifying glass and a microscope, or a map game with a playful explanation of the ecological usefulness of unloved species.
The educational approach is provided by school teachers. The university students propose an activity during which their school students will be able to familiarize themselves with new scientific concepts (or those superficially addressed in their study plan).
During the development of the project, the lecture sessions are optional. However, they are often attended by students and doctoral students because they are a source of exchange and discussion between the working groups and the university teaching team, which enriches the reflection and creation processes.
The final evaluation takes the form of a continuous assessment graded according to the following distribution (evaluation grid specific to 2022):
- handing in a complete file of activities, containing the models to be printed as well as the procedure to follow to carry them out (40% of the mark, group mark) ;
- participation as a scientific advisor in the elaboration of a scenario for a professional video clip of scientific popularization (30% of the mark, group mark);
- preparation of a student questionnaire to assess knowledge acquisition (20% of the grade, group grade);
- evaluation by the school teacher with which the interaction took place (10% of the grade, individual grade).
The evaluation requested from the school teachers contains the following items:
- communication with the teacher and consideration of his/her suggestions/comments;
- communication with the students, in particular the ability to bring in scientific concepts and to explain them, or even to re-explain them if a student has not understood
- relevance of the concepts covered
- organization of the sessions and ability to conduct them from beginning to end
- playful versus pedagogical aspects of the approaches used and appropriateness of the message they sought to convey;
- other remarks/comments.