Thirty students from the fourth year of high school are involved in a ten-day journey through hard sciences at the Polo scientifico e tecnologico “Fabio Ferrari” and the Department of Mathematics of the University of Trento, in the framework of a project organized by the Laboratory on Communicating and Teaching Mathematics (DiCoMat Lab) named “Matematica-fisica, andata e ritorno”. For ten days the students will do lab work, work in groups, expand their knowledge of maths and physics and walk in the shoes of our researchers.
«We want to encourage students to follow their passion for maths and physic» said Elisabetta Ossanna, coordinator of the DiCoMat Lab. «These are “hungry”, hyper motivated students. They want the pure academic experience. We stimulate them so that they can give their notes a more scientific look. We offer the participants, among other things, a meeting with young researchers: this is an opportunity to learn about their experience and take a look at their possible future directions. Another interesting aspect of the project concerns the inter-generational dialogue among students, soon-to-be graduates, school teachers and university professors».
The journey through maths and physics started on 5 June and will come to an end on 16 June, for the 30 students (4 from Veneto, 9 from South Tyrol, 17 from Trentino) who have been selected based on their cv and cover letter among the 39 applicants attending the fourth year of high school.
This 65-hour experience will also provide some guidance to choosing the right university, and introduce students to lab work, in-depth lessons and group work. Students will participate in seminars and write short reports on the topics explored. On one side, seminars show the power of mathematics in modelling physical phenomena and, on the other, reveal how physics constantly provides problems that encourage the development of mathematics. Among the subjects discussed are waves, oscillations, linear algebra and differential equations. Supervised by their tutors, the participants learn to understand the logical structure, register and syntax of mathematical texts. They learn to use an appropriate language to write mathematical formulas correctly and to adhere to the layout requirements that make scientific papers easy and enjoyable to read.
The project, currently in its second edition, is part of the National plan for science degrees in Mathematics of the University of Trento, with support from the National plan for science degrees in Physics for the organization of seminars, and this year was among the options that students could choose for their internship (alternanza scuola-lavoro).
The Professors of the University of Trento involved in the project are Silvano Delladio (Department of Mathematics) and Leonardo Ricci (Department of Physics). Referees: Ana Maria Alonso Rodriguez, Stefano Bonaccorsi, Anneliese Defranceschi, Sonia Mazzucchi and Roberto Pignatelli. Tutors: Giancarlo Dorigotti (collaborator at DiCoMat) and Stefano Pegoretti (part of the Mathematics department’s teaching staff) with Mattia Bonesi, Renato Caliari, Irena Gulli and Elisa Reghellin (degree candidates in internship for their final dissertation at the DiCoMat Lab).
The project was designed and supervised by Elisabetta Ossanna, coordinator of the DiCoMat Lab.
Elisabetta Ossanna, elisabetta.ossanna [at] unitn.it