“Course en Cours”: ten years of Renault guidance on scientific and technical careers for secondary school students
02 June 2016 15:00
“Course en Cours” ran its tenth schools competition in 2016. This operation, which spans secondary schools, higher education and industry, challenges secondary school students, in teams of five, to develop their own motor sport programmes, drawing inspiration from Renault and Dassault engineers, and using the same tools and processes. Basically, the contestants are asked nothing less than to dream up the motor car of the future.
The year-long programme covers the full scope of project management, which means handling project promotion, managing project budget, finding innovative technical solutions, selecting suitable processes, putting together B-plans to cope with unexpected setbacks, and finding the delicate balance between theory and experience. Each team has a project manager a design engineer, a manufacturing engineer, a test coordinator and a communications/sponsoring manager, all of whom are secondary school students of course
Following the regional heats, the 110 finalists met on June at Charléty, for practical trials and oral presentations of their vehicles.
Winners of the 2016 competition
- 1st: Jinkies Team – Collège Voltaire, Lourche, Lille region
- 2nd: Yellow Team – Lycée du Pré de Corby, Sarlat, Bordeaux region
- 3rd: E-Car team – Collège Jean Rostand Les Herbiers, Nantes region
A wide-reaching competition
This tenth anniversary edition of the competition had a wider reach than usual, going beyond secondary schools alone to include a mini-competition addressing partners, teachers and engineering schools. Specifically, five partner/teacher teams and three engineering school teams took part.
The topic set by the Renault team was the Renault RS01, which the participants got a life-size look at during the finals, alongside the Twin Run concept car.
The ranking here was:
- 1st: Polytec Nice
- 2nd: ESSTIN
- 3rd: Renault e-RS team
As in previous years, Renault employees were on the jury for the finals, and a design prize was awarded by Georges Serres-Cambot, Groupe Renault design quality chief after a thorough assessment of the finalists’ style choices. The RST team from Lycée Jacques Cœur in Bourges (Orléans-Tours region) won the design award along with a series of Renault Design sketches.
The competition has guided thousands of French secondary school students towards careers in science and technology in the last ten years.
- 70,000 secondary school students reached since 2006
- Thousands of students guided toward careers in science and technology.
Participant feedback figures1
- 54% say the operation aroused an interest in science and technology.
- 28% say it helped guide them into scientific or technological careers.
- 71% are continuing their education in science or technology subjects, with 75% of these respondents studying in an area related to the operation, including 20% in engineering schools
- 42% say the operation improved working relations with their teachers.
- 30% of the prizewinners are from working-class families, which indicates that the programme breaks social inequality barriers.
An exceptional educational programme
The competition benefits from exceptional cooperative arrangements within the education departments taking part, each of which provides access to resource centres hosted at colleges, universities or engineering schools, acting as local interfaces. In each region, three-way cooperation between secondary education, higher education and industry ensures all the teams have free access to the design and manufacturing tools they need for carrying through their projects. Cooperation between the school teams and teachers, industry professionals and more experienced higher education students provides a valuable opportunity for productive interaction across different generations, skills and backgrounds.
Equal opportunity, a fundamental value
The operation promotes equal opportunity by offering young people, regardless of gender, background, family income or geographical origin, an exciting opportunity for hands-on involvement in a rewarding and challenging project capable of stimulating intentions to go on to higher education.
Renault’s youth outreach
Renault runs a very active youth outreach policy, covering career development, qualification, equal opportunity, citizenship and skills development. Every year it takes on more than 2,400 young people on work-study programmes, close to 2,000 interns, and 200 young people without qualifications (in an operation run in partnership with employment offices). In 2014, Renault went further still, with the Generations Contract setting out formal commitments on youth employment. This three-year agreement commits Renault to having young people on work-study programmes account for 5% of its overall workforce.
Renault also takes part in a wide range of sponsorship and partnership operations, such as Safety and Transport for All (a road safety programme that has reached 13 million children over the last 13 years) and Une Grande École, Pourquoi Pas Moi (a programme run in partnership with ESSEC and École Polytechnique to encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter, and succeed in, higher education).
About Groupe Renault
Renault has been making cars since 1898. Today, it is an international group that sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in 125 countries in 2015. Groupe Renault employs more than 120,000 people, runs 36 manufacturing facilities, and sells its vehicles through 12,000 sales outlets worldwide. To address the major technological challenges of the future and pursue profitable growth, Renault has four primary focuses: international development; complementary coverage across its three brands (Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors); electric vehicles; and its alliance with Nissan. With a new Formula One racing team and high-profile involvement in Formula E, Renault sees motor sport as a powerful driver of innovation, image and brand recognition.
(1)Survey by ENS Cachan Junior Enterprise addressing close to 400 respondents, commissioned by Dassault Systèmes, Groupe Renault, PFA Filière Automobile & Mobilités and the French Ministry of Education to gauge the impact of the competition on participants’ subsequent education choices.