PoliCollege: online courses for secondary school students

A project by the Politecnico di Milano for youngsters passionate about STEM subjects


Are you a fourth- or fifth-year secondary-school student who is motivated, enterprising, curious, and prepared? Are you ready to tackle the university world a little early? If so, then PoliCollege was made for you.

This is an innovative teaching project that gives bright, motivated secondary-school students the chance to acquire advanced technical/scientific knowledge by following online courses taught by professors at the Politecnico di Milano.

As well as offering an early taste of university, PoliCollege is an opportunity for cultural enrichment, orientation, and interaction.

With the contribution of various departments at the Politecnico, PoliCollege offers a vast range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to choose from: game theory, nuclear science, aerospace engineering, and biomedicine.

Course instructors include, for example, Alfio Quarteroni, a scholar of mathematical modelling and member of the Accademia dei Lincei; Mario Grosso, member of the environmental impact assessment technical committee at the Ministry of the Environment; and Antonio Capone, an expert in communication networks and currently Dean of the School of Industrial and Information Engineering.

The initiative is aimed at students enrolled in the fourth and fifth year at any secondary school. Access to the courses is granted through a selection process based on motivation and merit. To participate, candidates should present a copy of their most recent school report, a motivation letter, and a letter of reference from a teacher.

Each course consists of a virtual class of 30 students and a total work load of about 25 hours. The courses are held entirely online, on the Moodle platform for the asynchronous part and via web conference tools for the webinar and moments of live interaction. For each course, quality teaching materials are provided, including, for example, video lessons, lecture notes, slides, and practice worksheets.

Students will also participate in various webinars held by one or more professors. During the course, the professor is supported by an expert student from the Politecnico who, as tutor, is responsible for managing the virtual class, keeping motivation up, and telling the students about university life. At the end of the courses, students will receive a certificate and digital student card to attach to their curriculum vitae.

This academic year, Policollege is offering 4 sessions of 6–7 courses each. Registration to participate in the two winter sessions (February and March 2021) is open until 20 November 2020.

For more information, visit www.policollege.polimi.it.