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15/02/2021 News

My junior high-school internship on the moon with Total

Finding a company for their mandatory internship in ninth grade is no easy task for certain young people from priority education networks, and the circumstances this year haven’t made things any easier. As in 2020, the teams at the CSTJF made their contribution to young people’s professional integration and to preventing students from dropping out of school by maintaining their internship offer. Though immersion on the campus was ruled out, students were able to take advantage of a new feature proposed by Total Foundation: a distance training course called “Fly me to the moon”, created in collaboration with the association Créé ton avenir.

Mission to the moon to build an orientation project

“The 2020 edition was a very positive experience for all the students who took part, and for their teachers too, who attended the feedback sessions on the CSTJF site or sat on the different juries for the oral presentations”, commented Nicolas Sambussy, Principal of the Jeanne d’Albret college in Pau. In order to provide a quality service in spite of the constraints this year, the whole system was overhauled - if the students couldn’t come to the site, then they’d fly to the moon! Moreover, the all-in-one program for the internship students involves much more than simply finding out about the company and the different job sectors within it - personal development approaches are also part of the package. For this issue, students joined two teams of explorers taken on by Total to go and set up an affiliate on the moon! What was their assignment brief? To create a living space for humans and imagine how they might find, use and preserve resources, maintain contact with the Earth, etc. 


To help them with their task, they met CSTJF employees who had chosen to give some of their time to this civic operation. A wide range of digital tools including videoconferences and videos were used, whereas course leaders from Crée ton avenir supervised the class on site, from February 01 to 05.

Assignments and know-how

Among the 20 students, 15-year-old Ineka wants to be a designer but couldn’t find an internship. She’s in the Astro team, which produces solar energy, and she found a role that suited her perfectly: “We had to invent machines. I created and designed a robot to store solar energy by wandering around all over the moon. Then he goes back home to produce light”, she explains. She thinks that we’ll be able to live on the moon one day, but not just yet.


Achraf is on the Total Space team. He’s 14, and his aim is to become an IT engineer. His head teacher encouraged him to take part in the internship course, and it's a decision he doesn't regret: “We found out lots of things that we didn’t know about - different jobs and activities. I knew there was a bus that took people to the CSTJF, but I had no idea what went on there!” he laughs. His mission was to explain how to find water to survive on the moon and communicate with the Earth.


Developing interpersonal skills through group activities that required contributions from each member of the group, was an aspect particularly appreciated by the Principal. The quality of group leadership is therefore important. “Everyone was able to make suggestions. There were debates of course, but that’s all part of the process. We worked well as a team” said Achraf, who found the presentations from Total employees “very important, because it’s thanks to them that we learn.” “We met a man who is a petroleum architect. He said that he travels a lot and that he changed jobs every three years. I didn’t know you could do that. I thought that once you’d chosen a profession, you were stuck with it for life. I want to be a designer, but I think Project Manager would suit me too”, Ineka concludes.


After the interview, the students prepared to give oral presentations with help from Total employees who came to give them advice. The course actually ends with the students giving a presentation of the results of their space exploration missions to the Principal, teachers and employees.