National Plan for Scientific Degrees (PLS)

National Plan for Scientific Degrees (PLS)

The Department is actively involved in the national Plan for Scientific Degrees (PLS), promoted by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR).

What is the Plan for Scientific Degrees?

The impact of science on our society has grown considerably over the last century, with technological consequences that have radically changed not only our understanding of the world, its problems and our future prospects but also the styles and expectations of our daily life. The speed with which these changes are taking place requires increasing competence in terms of technical expertise and knowledge of cultural heritage in order to contribute positively to the changes and not experience their consequences passively.

Against this backdrop, the Scientific Degrees Project – an agreement between the Italian Ministry of University and Research, the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria) and the National Conference of Deans of Science and Technology Faculties (Con.Scienze) – was born in 2005.

The results achieved under this initial agreement convinced the Ministry to relaunch the project, now called the national Plan for Scientific Degrees (PLS), in the conviction that a positive relationship between schools and universities can only favour the dissemination of scientific culture and understanding of the important role that scientific training and innovation play in the organic and competitive development of our society, particularly at international level.

One of the main tools used by Plan for Scientific Degrees is the organisation of workshops for:

  • orientation, aimed at secondary school students, with the objective of stimulating interest in university programmes in scientific fields;
  • training, aimed at teachers of scientific subjects, with the objective of promoting lifelong learning and opportunities for collaboration with the university world.

The Department’s activities

The Department has historically been strongly committed to fostering collaboration between schools and universities.  The interdisciplinary nature of DMIF’s teaching and research activities equips students with cutting-edge expertise in various disciplines, to which the Department is actively committed in terms of both core content and practical and technological application.

In the framework of the national Plan for Scientific Degrees (PLS), as well as collaboration at regional level, this long-standing tradition has made it possible to put the experience gained to good use in the organisation of workshops for secondary schools and teacher training activities.

In mathematics, the role of this field in problem-solving and describing phenomena, in both everyday life and in research, has been investigated. The importance of algorithms and numerical simulations has been a common theme in computational mathematics workshops, with the introduction of calculation tools and mathematical software such as Matlab, Geogebra, C and R, benefitting students and constituting a resource for teachers. Specific seminars have provided opportunities, in the fields of computer science and physics, to tackle various specific topics, such as artificial intelligence, cryptography, databases, the foundations of quantum physics, superconductivity and spectroscopy.

The workshops have involved experts, in the organisation of themed seminars, for instance, as well as students interested in teaching careers. Activities for secondary schools have sought to balance curricular and extracurricular parts while, for other schools, the curricular aspect has been favoured.

The offering has also included modules for training and practice for scientific competitions, as well as games and guided tours of research institutes, with the goal of bringing the scientific world increasingly to the forefront of daily life.