The new academic year has started and at NECSTLab we are already working hard on both new and old projects. First of all, the NECSTCamp – our holistic approach towards students personal development as both persons and future engineers – is renovated.
During the last months, we devoted a special attention to understand how the project could become scalable,while not losing the focus on students’ individual needs.
By Sara Notargiacomo and Marco D. Santambrogio,
respectively Technology Trasfer Manager and RADRL @NECSTLab, Politecnico di Milano
Starting from this year, we are devoting a special attention to help students defining research, teaching and soft skills development goals. For this reason each students is mentored individually at least four times per academic year. This is a crucial part of their learning process as students are often uncomfortable defining goals, developing a plan towards them and organizing their time management.
Mind and body
As last year, sport is one of the main elements of our approach, as help students recall elements of their everyday life, develop a greater knowledge of their own abilities and of themselves in general. When we designed the project for the first time last year, the decision of including Crossfit and balance training as types of sport was not casual, but functional to our educational goals.
Balance training sessions help students practice some relaxation techniques, teach them how to listen to their body reducing stress and improving emotional well-being.
CrossFit has been chosen because it allows to adapt workout intensity and effort to each person individually. While working out, the student is brought to face his physical limits and strengths, to accept them. The exercises can also be divided into single and group activities (2-3 people), so that students can also observe differences in skills and talents of colleagues, and learn how to accept them. Starting from this year, we increased the number of Crossfit weekly classes from 2 up to 8 while we will held 4 balance training sessions per week.
The importance of event reconstruction
Crossfit sessions lead students to identify their limits, their talents and possible rooms of improvements. We believe that it is crucial to help students understand how to handle a positive self-assessment based on them. For this reason, starting from last september, two psychologists joined our team whose role is to help students undertake a positive event reconstruction. Thanks to their help, they are helped to breaking down the barriers of their comfort zones, overcoming the fear of failing and of measuring oneself with one’s own abilities. Helped in creating a parallelism between sport and daily life, students can learn to recognize their own potential, how to valorize it while avoiding frustration when comparing themselves to others.
A healthy lifestyle
This year, we have also added one more food expert to our team. Thanks to individual meetings with students three/four time per academic year, our team is working with them to improve their food habits and lifestyles. Students are asked to challenge themselves and their comfort zone defining personal goal to pursue during the year.
NECSTLab commitment towards Innovative Teaching
The new academic year is also rich of new projects and courses where students will have the chance to practice NECSTCamp takeaways.
We are happy to announce that starting from this year PEoPLe@DEIB – the innovative teaching initiative launched last year within DEIB Department ( Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e biotecnologie) – will become part of Passion in Action: the Politecnico di Milano official innovative teaching initiative. As NECSTLab, we will held a lot of different courses, both technical and soft skills courses, just to name a few:
Mnemonic Workshop: a course within the Passion In Action initiative
A new course offered in collaboration with Oracle within the Passion In Action initiative
Furthermore, during the 27th and the 28th of October we hosted the Hack the NECSTCamp Hackathon, a 48 hours competition to turn data into action and help athletes, sport practitioners, and trainers to make better decision faster. The six winning teams got access to the second phase. Starting from next week until the 21st of December, they will work with us to develop a PoC of their projects. On the 21st of December during NECSTmas, our Christmas Event, we will announce the two winning teams which will join us attending the NECST Group Conference X and visiting the Silicon Valley in May 2019. This is possible thanks to the support of E-novia S.p.A, the event official sponsor. This year, it is a very special year for us as the NECST Group Conference has arrived at its 10th edition and we are really working hard to make it even more special.