As a response to the riots in the French suburbs in 2005, a team of students decided to set up a nonprofit, Paris-Montagne, whose main programme, Science Académie, aims at promoting research-based activities to address the social exclusion that besets teenagers living in the neighbourhoods where the riots happened.

 Altogether, more than 800 youngsters from 15 to 18 years old participated in lab internships. Other research-based activities were then created such as a science festival, science weeks, conferences, mini-research projects in English, enabling students to experience the core values of research: critical thinking, teamwork and rationality. 

In order to achieve these objectives, Paris-Montagne had to develop and refine tools to permit young people to make informed decisions regarding their futures. From training sessions for research mentors to initiatives in listening to young people, Paris-Montagne has been putting the emphasis on empowering teenagers. Over the course of nine years, challenges emerged such as whether to involve participants in the governance of the NGO and whether to continue as an all-volunteer organization. Responding to these challenges has allowed the institution to capitalize on its experience, strengthening national branches and taking part in international projects. 


We hope this paper will enhance reflection and discussion for those involved in organisations also willing to conduct enquiry-based activities for socially excluded youngsters.   

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Can research-based activities address social exclusion?

Camille Breton   Association Paris-Montagne, École normale supérieure

Catherine Oualian   Association Paris-Montagne, École normale supérieure

Amandine Galioot   Association Paris-Montagne, École normale supérieure

Leïla Perié   Association Paris-Montagne, École normale supérieure

Livio Riboli-Sasco   Association Paris-Montagne, École normale supérieure

As a response to the riots in the French suburbs in 2005, a team of students decided to set up a nonprofit, Paris-Montagne, whose main programme, Science Académie, aims at promoting research-based activities to address the social exclusion that besets teenagers living in the neighbourhoods where the riots happened.

 Altogether, more than 800 youngsters from 15 to 18 years old participated in lab internships. Other research-based activities were then created such as a science festival, science weeks, conferences, mini-research projects in English, enabling students to experience the core values of research: critical thinking, teamwork and rationality. 

In order to achieve these objectives, Paris-Montagne had to develop and refine tools to permit young people to make informed decisions regarding their futures. From training sessions for research mentors to initiatives in listening to young people, Paris-Montagne has been putting the emphasis on empowering teenagers. Over the course of nine years, challenges emerged such as whether to involve participants in the governance of the NGO and whether to continue as an all-volunteer organization. Responding to these challenges has allowed the institution to capitalize on its experience, strengthening national branches and taking part in international projects. 


We hope this paper will enhance reflection and discussion for those involved in organisations also willing to conduct enquiry-based activities for socially excluded youngsters.   

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