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Comau and Pearson Italy to Launch "Robotics goes to school!”, the project meant to introduce automation and Industry 4.0 to Italian students

From the Patentino della Robotica (Robotics License) and the use of the e.DO robot in schools to teacher training: an all-encompassing training project intended for Italian schools

​Pearson Publishing, worldwide leader in the education sector, and Comau, a global leader in industrial automation, have signed an important agreement to provide Italian schools with innovative training courses regarding digital transformation and robotics.

he project, called “Robotics goes to school!”, involves schools of all types and all levels, from elementary to high school education, and features a complete program ranging from basic digital literacy to certified advanced programming. The educational offer includes the Patentino della Robotica (Robotics License), which is recognized by MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research) as work-related learning and can be used as a certification for future employment. The offer also includes a training project for teachers and a robotics workshop for schools introducing e.DO, the innovative open-source modular robot created by Comau for the education sector to provide basic coding and robotics skills, in addition to making traditional content more effective and appealing.

For the 2017/2018 school year, the Patentino project will be available for schools throughout Italy, starting with the cities of Milan, Turin, Padua, Rome, Naples and the related regions, where the first examination centers have already been activated.

Robotics goes to school! represents an important step forward in the development of the STEM disciplines in the world of education, one of the main goals today for educational systems in Italy and abroad. The project aims to turn Italian schools into state-of-the-art centers for robotics and automation by promoting the creation of new skills which are increasingly sought after in the business world. In fact, automation is developing fast everywhere thanks to the digital revolution, which is transforming not only manufacturing but every sector. Over the next few decades, digital technology applications will no longer be limited to the industrial sector. Furthermore, robotics, which are becoming increasingly easier to use, will be characterized by safe and synergistic collaboration between men and robots. Both will be applied even in everyday life. Thanks to the Pearson-Comau project, students will be able to develop the skills they need for future professional contexts and schools will acquire the necessary know-how which will remain available in the future.

The project: from Patentino della Robotica to the e.DO experience in schools

Patentino della Robotica: the first element of the Pearson-Comau project is the Patentino, a training experience that allows young students to become robotics experts. It is recognized by MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research) as work-related learning for a total of 100 hours per student. The course, during which the students will learn how to use an industrial robot, will be divided in two parts: 60 hours will be held online by means of multimedia material, simulations and practical exercises, whereas 40 hours will be held in the classroom and will concern robotics and Industry 4.0. The educational offer will be further enriched by practical experience in which the student will use a robot, and this will take place at the Comau headquarters or at the respective Pearson Place, a training hub where the students will take the exam for the Patentino. This certification, which is internationally recognized, is equivalent to that for professionals and companies, and is therefore immediately usable in the business world. The workshop also includes training for teachers, who will then be able to train their students.

e.DO, the Robotics workshop for schools: teachers will be trained to use the innovative Comau robot e.DO, a highly technological “companion” whose features are simple enough to be mastered by any teenager. e.DO is an open-source articulated robot weighing 12kg, which was successfully used last year in a Comau pilot project involving 3,000 students from the Turin area. Robotics will be taught as a subject from primary to secondary school with the help of the robot, but this will also be used for curricular contents, such as Math, Physics and other scientific disciplines, which will turn into “workshops” and will be more engaging, interactive and effective than simple lessons.

The Pearson-Comau project is complemented with a wide range of training activities for teachers which is fully customizable to meet the needs of each school. This is a very important opportunity in terms of the know-how with which schools will be entrusted. By completing their courses, the teachers will be able to keep training students on coding and robotics even in the following years. They will therefore enrich both their professional experience and the educational offer of the school they work in. Such knowledge will be crucial to face tomorrow’s challenges, both at school and in the ever-changing job market.

This project aimed at providing schools with a first experience with robotics is the answer to one of our missions: helping schools offer their students both a strong culture and the skills they need to operate in a work environment in constant evolution,” said Mario Mariani, Managing Director Pearson Italy & Germany. “The focus is on the STEM disciplines, namely those technical and scientific subjects which are currently given too little importance. We also allow schools to boost their offer by means of training courses for their teachers, so that their knowledge will remain in the years to come; an opportunity we see as an important added value. Our approach is that of a company with solid roots in its own country and an attentive gaze outside the national boundaries; this helps us anticipate what happens around us and react accordingly. We have a lot in common with Comau: our companies are both oriented towards innovation and quality and we have strong passion for what we do. We connected immediately and this allowed us to develop a widespread, challenging project.”

Comau has always believed in the young generations and their ability to build the solutions of the future; this is what we see every day, and the fields of robotics and industrial automation are no exception,” observed Donatella Pinto, Head of Human Resources at Comau. “Our Academy, in partnership with the best schools, universities and training centers, is helping young people and professionals from all over the world develop the skills they need to face the challenges of a constantly evolving market. A key step in this process of development and innovation of technological and executive skills is represented by our collaboration with Pearson. Comau, the global leader in industrial automation, chose Pearson, the world leader in education, for an innovative project whose scope is not only limited to Italy. The two companies have merged their know-how and experience, with the aim of bringing the world of education closer to the field of digital transformation and to the new skills required by the industrial world, and beyond.”

The project will be launched by Pearson and Comau in Florence, on the occasion of Didacta, the most important trade show within the education sector, during the meeting “Creating Skills for the Future: the pilot experience of the International Robotics License”, which will take place on September 28, 2017 (room A6 Ernesto Codignola at 2 pm).

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