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Smart Schoul 2025

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Published on Tuesday, 03 September 2019

Smart Schoul 2025 brings cutting-edge computer vision tech to classrooms

When the Lycee Edward Steichen at Clervaux (LESC) opens its doors in September, alongside its 900 students and teachers will be a team of scientists from the University of Luxembourg. Together with LESC, these computer vision experts will embark on "Smart Schoul 2025", a project envisioning a new, technologically savy pedagogical direction.

Over three years, the team from the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) will embed cutting-edge computer vision technologies throughout the high school, giving students a glimpse into how modern data science and computer technologies enrich our world.

Computer vision covers the ways in which computers can be used to process images and video to gain greater insights into the world around us. "The field is an ideal example of computer science and engineering – subjects that can be rather intimidating to school students," says Dr Djamila Aouada, who leads SnT’s computer vision team. "It is intuitively understandable, almost immediately perceivable, and it can play a part in many aspects of daily life."

Current computer vision research at SnT includes the use of 3D motion detection both to guide stroke survivors through rehabilitation exercises and to make facial recognition more robust. By bringing such technologies to students, “Smart Schoul 2025” hopes to get students more engaged with computer science.

Training skilled and responsible digital citizens

"Our goal is to help shape tomorrow’s digital citizens," Dr Aouada continues. And that means more than encouraging students to use consumer technologies Rather, these “digital citizens” will learn how to use technology creatively, as independent and responsible agents.

With a Promoting Science to the Public (PSP) Flagship Grant from the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), as well as a close advisory partnership with the Luxembourg Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, Smart Schoul 2025 aims to put Luxembourg on the frontline of adapting public education to the needs of an increasingly tech-driven society. “In order to strengthen and consolidate Luxembourg's position in the ICT field and to turn our country into a real centre of excellence in everything high-tech, we need highly qualified human resources,” says Minister of Education, Children and Youth Claude Meisch. “These are often too few in number. With the aim to address this shortage, I made it a mission to gradually help our students acquire the needed skills and strategies to meet the challenges of the digital society and technological innovation.”

"With our PSP Flagship programme we want to help set up long-term science outreach activities with a sustainable and lasting impact on the promotion of science to the public in Luxembourg,” says FNR Executive Head Marc Schiltz. “We are happy to support the SmartSchoul 2025 project, as we believe it is innovative, creative and well aligned with the current priorities of the Luxembourg Education policy on digital competencies. Furthermore we appreciate that SmartSchoul 2025 engages teachers, researchers, students and parents all together.”

With help from their industry research partner Artec 3D, market leader in 3D scanning technologies and headquartered in Luxembourg, the SnT computer vision team has already installed a 3D body scanner (the “Artec Shapify Booth”) at the LESC entrance. Students can use the scanning booth to get their 3D body scan data for any project they can imagine — whether for art, biology, maths or engineering. “As a Luxembourg company, we are proud to be involved in this forward-thinking educational project”, says Art Yukhin, CEO of Artec 3D. “We are very glad that our hardware is helping to develop the next generation of Luxembourgish scientists and engineers.”

To use this data, students will learn to modify code, work with data sets, and understand the algorithmic basics driving the whole process. Access to this powerful tool will show students that technology is a means to achieve their varied goals — and not an end in and of itself. “Our key aim is to promote learning which prepares our students for dealing successfully with the challenges of the 21st century and enables them to become active 21st century citizens,” says LESC Director Jean Billa.

"It is also important that students learn the ethics of working with private data”, adds Dr Al Ismaeil, researcher at SnT and Project Manager for Smart Schoul 2025. “Having access to this technology will give them the opportunity to really understand what private data really is, where it comes from, and how to use it responsibly."