For a Human-Centered AI

The FBK school-to-work model awarded at SMAU 2019

October 23, 2019

The award, which sees the 'SenSAT' project as a virtuous example of innovation in education was given in Milan yesterday

The ‘SenSAT‘ project has set for itself the goal of creating a safety solution for mountain lodges, i.e. the creation of sensors and an integrated monitoring system, involving schools in a typical innovation supply chain, simulating the activities that businesses normally carry out. This was discussed at the ‘School Project‘ working group, organized by Smau in cooperation with the Autonomous Province of Trento and Fondazione Bruno Kessler. It was an occasion to discuss the possibility of ‘exporting’ this and other projects developed by FBK outside of the Province. At the end of the working group, attended by important companies participating in Smau, regional administrations, managers of the Autonomous Province of Trento, FBK researchers and by the councilor for education, university and culture of PAT Mirko Bisesti, the ‘Innovation Award’ was presented, that recognizes in the SenSAT project an innovation model that can affect the administrations and industrial partners of the entire nation. “It is an honor to be in Milan today to receive this award which has seen the collaboration of 7 schools in the Trentino Region and a center of excellence in our area such as FBK – Councilor Mirko Bisesti explained – that agreed to support a school-to-work project that involved young people in an innovation path. We believe that this activity deserves great attention and Smau’s gratification proves it ”.


The idea in short

The School-to-Work Program project conceived and developed by Fondazione Bruno Kessler through its “Research and Innovation for Education” Unit, is an innovative school-to-work teaching model that experiments a new way to reduce the gap between upper secondary school and the world of work. The model lets kids look at the various aspects of a product innovation system and experience hands-on a real-world business work situation. New knowledge put together, thanks to teamwork, enhance the energy and creativity of the participants, foster critical thinking, and can also stimulate entrepreneurship-related skills.

The project 

The Foundation’s initiative includes the simulation of an innovation route, from research to the use of its findings.  “Each project – Pierluigi Bellutti, head of the Micro Nano Facilty Unit of FBK’s Center for Materials and Microsystems explained – involves classes from a number of high schools, each is entrusted with a specific task, as if they were different departments of the same company”. Thus, for example, in the case of the project that involves the development of a sensor for air quality monitoring, two high schools for the arts were assigned brand ideation and product design respectively, the class from the high school for business was entrusted with market analysis and business plan development, the class from a high school for technology (chemistry major) was in charge of developing gas-sensitive material, a high school for IT technology had to manage the signal from the sensor to the user with a text message in the event of an alarm, a high school for classical studies took care of exploring the legal aspects, while the students of a high school for science worked on the manual.

The activity takes place throughout the school year and can thus be smoothly inserted into the curriculum and involves the whole class under the guidance of the internal tutor. External tutors and expert professionals support teachers and students with specific lectures, thus bringing precious, up-to-date information as to the state-of-the-art, for the benefit of all. The planning of the work tasks is baed on a gantt that guides the monthly meetings of the “contact group”, a group made up of representatives of each participating class in charge of reporting on the progress of the various activities, in order to help students become aware of the importance of meeting deadlines, in order not to block the complex chain of connections present in the project development flow. additionally, quarterly meetings are scheduled, in which the students of the various schools meet together to discuss the project and to listen to talks by professionals that can be followed by all the participants. All these occasions help students experience the value – and the dynamics – of teamwork. While the main objective is training, the simulation is intended to produce tangible results: the objective is in fact to develop a “real” product ready for market launch.


Future developments

Given the successful experience activated in Trento, recognized by many as a model of excellence,” – Belluti added – “we are now looking at the extension of the model at national level” starting from an involvement of other regional administrations and of companies interested in this topic, hoping for the introduction of similar projects in the 2021-27 programming of European structural funds: contacts are underway at all levels to achieve this goal and the Smau 2019 event in Milan was an important showcase to this end“.

The partners
The project saw the participation of SAT, which allowed the  experimentation in the mountain lodges, of ADI Vtaa (Industrial Design Association, Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige delegation) for the design part and the CNF (National Forensic Council) for the issues connected with intellectual  property protection and the corporate business initiative structure.

The schools involved

  • “L. Guetti ” High School, Tione
  • “M. Curie ” High School, Pergine
  • “Tambosi” High School for Business, Trento
  • “G. Marconi ” High School for Technology, Rovereto
  • “M. Buonarroti ” High School for Technology, Trento
  • “A. Vittoria” High School for the Arts, Trento
  • “G. Prati” High School for Classical Studies, Trento

265 students and 16 teachers



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