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La main à la pâte since 1996, an initiative in France and beyond
  • In 1996, Georges Charpak, Nobel laureate in Physics in 1992, decided to get deeply involved into science education for children in primary schools, in France. Immediatly, the Frenche Académie des sciences supported the project, which under the Académie's leadership has since greatly developed in France, in Europe and worldwide.
               (in English)
  • The principles of La main à la pâte progressively became recognized as a powerful demonstration of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE).
  • The support of the teachers teachng science in primary and middle schools, is implemented with a great variety of resources, initially in French, then translated and adapted in many languages. This support is ensured with a constant engagement and collaboration of scientists, engineers and advanced students.
  • The Académie members and many high level scientists are mobilised to stimulate the education authorities (ministry, inspectors), in favor of a rejuvenated science education in primary and middle school, on the basis of La main à la pâte principles.
  • Progressively, in strong interaction with national Academies and the Global Network of Science Academies (IAP), La main à la pâte has created extended and long lasting collaborations with over 50 countries at various levels of development, both in Europe and outside.
  • In order to coordinate and stimulate all these actions, the Académie des sciences has created in Paris in 2012, along with two Ecoles Normales Supérieures (Paris and Lyon), the Fondation de coopération scientifique La main à la pâte, with a current staff of nearly 30 persons.
  • The professional development (in-service) of teachers has become a strong focus of the action. Since 2012, with the support of public and private funds, a series of Maisons pour la science au service des professeurs (« House for science to help teachers ») has opened in 9 Universities across France.  These prototypes aim at developing new concepts and intense collaborations between scientists or engineers and teachers, in order to expose the latter to a lively and enjoyable science, a need for their classes to properly carry the savour of science to their students.
  • Founders of La main à la pâte : Georges Charpak, Pierre Léna, Yves Quéré (Académie des sciences, France)
    Governance of the Fondation La main à la pâte (2013) :  President Pierre Léna. Vice-President Daniel Rouan. Director David Jasmin. Vice-Director Béatrice Salviat.
Contact :Anne Lejeune <>