Challenge-Winning Schools

The finalists of the 9th edition of the Global Junior Challenge – the international competition that rewards innovative projects employing new technology for youth education and training - received their awards in the Rome Campidoglio’s Sala Giulio Cesare. The initiative, which is organized every two years by the Fondazione Mondo Digitale is dedicated to the memory of Linguist Tullio De Mauro. The 2019 edition focused on Objective 4 of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, a quality education for everyone, by promoting the experiences of schools that have successfully embraced and shared successful talent and resources. The video on School Changing the World documents the success of the Phyrtual Innovation Gym in areas characterized by high educational poverty in Rome, Milan, Naples and Bari.


The winning projects of the Global Junior Challenge 2019, which received a Bronze Medal of Rome, are:

  • Poupi - Anne Marianne (Latina) in the “Up to 10 Years Old” Category

A significant project on account of its intentions: facilitate communication between children suffering from post-traumatic disorder and medical personnel. A technological “teddy” that reinforces and creates connections to improve the learning ability of all involved parties.

  • Dinamica - “Dinamica” Cultural Association of Rocca Priora (Rome) in the “Up to 15 Years Old” Category

A project that involves an entire community in creating innovative courses for young men and women, with a particular focus on disabled individuals.

The project has involved over 600 secondary school students who, for the first time, became protagonists rather than mere users of a platform to contrast bullying. A synergy of excellence between public and private parties.

  • Radio Magica - Fondazione Radio Magica onlus (Udine) in the “Up to 29 Years Old” Category

A project that aims to describe Italian cultural in a SMART manner to introduce families, youth and the general public to the world of art. A portal inspired by the programmes of the BBC and the British Museum to bring art to everyone.

  • SchoolUP - Cervellotik Education (Potenza) in the “Insertion of Youth into the Working World” Category

A project developed in an innovative local enterprise to promote self-enterprise and orient young men and women towards the working world. The project was also selected as a best pratice by MIUR in 2015-16.


Special mention for Davide Giuseppe Russo, a student at IIS Archimede in Catania, for Project Catania Yesterday and Today, which he developed independently with support from the school and his family. The aim of the complex project is to promote his city through technical competences and a rare understanding for someone his age, a positive example for all other students.


The awards were presented by the President and Scientific Director of the Fondazione Mondo Digitale, Alessandra Donnini and Alfonso Molina.

The Special Tullio De Mauro Award, which was created to pursue the Professor’s civic commitment and support innovating teachers and school administrators, was assigned to:

  • Lara Fina Ferrari, a teacher at the Istituto comprensivo Del Vergante di Meina (Novara), received a Tullio De Mauro Medal presented by the City of Rome and an Expert Teacher Course donated by Erickson.

Project Women Cube was developed to promote personalities that have made a difference to fight gender discrimination. The cube is an augmented reality aide in the town library. This is a clear example of school walls opening up and intersecting with the needs of the local community.

  • Antonella Di Bartolo, school administrator, IC Sperone Pertini in Palermo, received a Tullio De Mauro Medal presented by the City of Rome and a €500-coupon donated by Erickson.

For the tenacious vision with which she interprets her role in developing a school for each and every student. For having implemented, in a complex and impoverished context, a lively, generative and rooted school that represents emancipation, independence and liberty. A school promoting research and innovation and the wellbeing of a community in which everyone has a name. A school that is providing a future for its youth.


Special Mention also goes to Patrizia Palanca, School Administrator, Istituto di Istruzione Superiore Sacconi-Ceci in Ascoli Piceno for the wisdom with which she has interpreted her role and her ability to network with the local community to promote and support students facing ambitious challenges. She believes in role modelling and positive examples to inspire the educational community and undertake innovative and technologically advanced activities.


The prizes provided by partner Erickson, were presented by Ornella Riolfatti, Director General, Centro Studi Erickson, and Silvana Ferreri De Mauro.


Besides these long-standing GJC awards, recognitions were also assigned to teachers that distinguished themselves for the value of their innovative educational programmes: Gaetano Manzulli, a teacher at IIS Pacinotti in Taranto, received an award a part of Project “Ambizione Italia for Schools” promoted with Microsoft Italy for the passion and energy with which he involved students and teachers in the project. A true artificial intelligence hub powered by the school community in a cutting-edge school operating in a challenging context.


Five recognitions for teachers and educators were also announced for Google’s Computer Science First  [see A Message from Verónica Gebhardt, Google Program Manager, and Motivations]

  • Antonella Caroni
  • Paola Brancaccio
  • Sabrina Fava
  • Marina Prete
  • Adriana Toneguzzo


The final event of the GJC, developed with the support of the Rome Council – Councillorship for Individuals, Schools and Solidary Communities and the collaboration of Erickson, is also supported by Microsoft Italy and Programme Google CS First. The event was hosted by Biblioteche di Roma and the Civic Zoology Museum. The initiative is co-financed by Projects CanVASS+ and Accord for the Erasmus+ Programme.



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