One of the schools involved within the IRRESISTIBLE Italian CoL is the ISS Institute “Nobili” in Reggio Emilia. The school participated with 3 classes, grade 9 (15 years old) led by their Chemistry teacher Paola Ambrogi and two technicians. The classes were constituted by mixed abilities students, but the majority of them were low-performing students with some behavioural problems.

As the teacher explained, the introduction of RRI aspects was particularly challenging mainly for two reasons: the six RRI dimensions are expressed in a language very distant from that of the everyday life, and the topic was completely new for the students. They indeed stressed both these problematic aspects.

So, the first problem for the teacher was that of making the dimensions of RRI understandable for the students: the sentences were analysed starting from the structure of the most complex sentences and clarifying the meaning of each term (sometimes by using the dictionary).

The second, and main problem concerned the need of making RRI something meaningful by linking its aspects to everyday life. For this purpose, the teacher asked the students to face one aspect of RRI connected to a product of science and technology which they use daily and which was a real innovation in the past. The students suggested the shampoo and the mobile phone addressing the gender equality dimension: after a group discussion the students concluded that there are no gender differences in the use of these two products.

The teacher asked the class to link the first dimension addressed to other dimensions of RRI: the dimension of governance was discussed in relation to environmental issues like pollution; the open access dimension was addressed considering the possibility to find information about risks and benefits connected to the use/misuse of commercial products.

This kind of discussion about the RRI aspects enables the students to be aware of the many implications related to the commercial market.

Then, the teacher shifted the focus of the discussion from daily-used items (in the past considered innovation) to cutting-edge science: the students’ attention was captured by the use of luminescent nanosensors in the forensic analysis.

The students were also involved in designing and creating an exhibit, in the form of posters and videos, to convey their knowledge about luminescent nanosensors and their reflections about RRI aspects. The activities performed to accomplish the task engaged actively the students. The gifted and talented students cooperated especially to find information and convey them in a correct form. The students, who usually did not behave properly at school, cooperated with their creative, non-formal approach, and their extracurricular competences, i.e. by using go-pro camera and programs to translate into foreign language the videos prepared.

Some of the videos created by the students can be viewed at this web site.

The pictures show a small representative of the involved students presenting their exhibits in English at the IRRESISTIBLE meeting held in March in Bologna.


Left: Students of IIS “Nobili” participating in the Bologna meeting and some representatives of the partners of the IRRESISTIBLE project. Right: Students of IIS “Nobili” presenting at the Bologna meeting one of their posters prepared in the frame of the IRRESISTIBLE project.