An important contribution of the unit, at the interface between Science and Society, comes from its historical and deep involvement in the consolidation and expansion of “L’Arbre des Connaissances” (“Three of knowledge”), a national association of researchers that aims to promote interest in science and open critical mind of young scholars (14-19 years old), as well as social mix. In particular, the unit is actively involved in the project “Apprentis Chercheurs”.
The “Apprentice Researcher” project enables middle and high school students to come in research laboratories throughout the school year. One afternoon per month, the students carry out a scientific project on a research subject in the laboratory under the supervision of doctoral students, post-docs, researchers or engineers. At the end of the school year, the Tree of Knowledge organizes the congress of Apprentice Researchers” in each Research Institute, where the teenagers present their work in public and receive a certificate of Initiation to research. Thanks to the involvement of their teachers, the Apprentice Researchers also become true ambassadors of research within their institution.