Starting next year, a four-year high school dedicated to ecological and digital transition

Starting next year, a four-year high school dedicated to ecological and digital transition


The experimentation, which has been joined by 27 schools throughout Italy, brings together schools, companies and universities. Promoted by ELIS and Snam, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the new programme combines the humanistic and scientific tradition of the Italian high school with technology and STEM subjects.

A new High School for Ecological and Digital Transition will start next year. The four-year training programme will involve 27 high schools throughout Italy, four universities and numerous companies in the ELIS Consortium under the six-month presidency of Snam CEO Marco Alverà.

The High School for Ecological and Digital Transition ("T.E.D. High School") aims to integrate the humanities and sciences of the traditional Italian high school into a single teaching programme, with a greater focus on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), on which professions and the understanding of phenomena of global interest, such as the environment and development, will increasingly depend in the future.

Italy's Minister of Education Patrizio Bianchi said: "Sustainability and the ecological and digital transitions are key topics in the new school we are building for our students, as is the role of STEM disciplines. I thank all the promoters of this project, starting from the schools, for creating a synergy that has led to the achievement of excellent results for the objectives and challenges of both the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the School ReGeneration Plan".

Snam CEO Marco Alverà said: "The launch of this new High School is a contribution to the future of young people and to the sustainable development of our country, in line with the objectives of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan for schools. This is the result of a fruitful cooperation between institutions and our network of schools, businesses and universities, in the interest of the Italian education system. Thanks to this project, starting from next school year, a new educational programme will begin for many young people on key issues for our society such as ecological and digital transitions, with new teaching methods, a virtuous combination of humanistic and scientific skills, a direct link with companies and new experiences such as internships abroad and online workshops. The new High School will also have gender balance as one of its priorities, with the aim of counteracting the disparities that still exist today between girls and boys in the study of STEM disciplines and the development of related skills, which will be decisive for 80% of the professions of the future".

At the heart of the experiment is the effort to revamp the teaching methods and offer support to the teachers by including each  individual school in a network of cooperation between schools, universities and companies. The high school will be able to rely on ELIS, a non-profit organisation that trains and introduces 2,500 young people to the world of work every year and brings together a consortium of over 100 large groups, companies and universities. "Our commitment," explained Pietro Cum, Managing Director of ELIS, "focuses first and foremost on nurturing a knowledge network that offers students up-to-date knowledge with the support of research centres and companies, as well as the opportunity to test it in the field through internships and other experiential teaching models. Another central aspect for us will be the students' orientation and growth as a person, stimulating an attitude of curiosity towards knowledge even before the acquisition of knowledge. In the end, it is curiosity and creativity that will enable them to develop a personal strategy for university studies and working life". 

In addition to classroom teaching, there will also be learning opportunities that are still little explored in high school, such as  weekly workshops with experts on highly specialised topics, summer camps , company internships and stays abroad to learn languages and get to know global contexts, which will be organised with the support of international networks made available by the large companies participating in the project. The potential of digital didactics will be used to simultaneously connect all school classrooms with prominent teachers and experts. This is one of the measures with which the coordinators of the nationwide experiment also  aim to overcome the differences in teaching quality and access to learning sources, which are too often noticed in different territorial contexts of the country.

"At the heart of this is the challenge of experiencing a new way of learning and teaching, one that fosters cognitive, emotional and relational skills" commented Elena Ugolini, Dean of the Malpighi High Schools and among promoters of the project. Salvatore Giuliano, school director of the ISS Majorana of Brindisi and leader of the network of schools involved in the project, said: "The close relationship with the universities will also allow schools to better carry out their role of orientation and springboard to subsequent university studies".

Four universities are involved in the experimentation: Bocconi, Milan Polytechnic, Tor Vergata University in Rome and the University of Padua through its Mind4Children spin-off. "Groups of high school and university teachers, together with experts from companies," said Professor Antonio Capone, Headmaster of the School of Engineering at Milan Polytechnic, "can offer a mix of skills that combine the values of the scientific and humanistic tradition with a culture of technology that is essential today. The crises that have followed one another in the new millennium are the result of a lack of capacity to provide training by looking at reality, also on the basis of technological evolution. Teaching over four years represents a challenge that should be taken up. It brings us into line with school times in most European countries and allows students to enter university a year earlier. Each young person has their own specificities and must find their own dimension in their studies. An extra year means an extra degree of freedom. Students can explore specific interests with experiences abroad that are more extensive than the classic Erasmus, or experiences in companies and extracurricular studies that will allow them to build a more original scientific and professional profile."  

The High School is part of the plan for new four-year classes launched by Italy's Minister of Education, Patrizio Bianchi, in line with the objectives of the "National Recovery and Resilience Plan" and in continuity with the " RiGenerazione Scuola" plan. Applications can be submitted until 28 January 2022 to one of the schools taking part in the pilot scheme (list available online): and

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01 February 2022 - 12:32 CET