The MATh.en.JEANS association (hereinafter referred to as MeJ or the association) is a non-profit organisation based in France whose goal is to facilitate the study of mathematical concepts and methods through investigational subjects suggested by academics in France and around the world.
Founded in 1989, MeJ aims to make young people experience mathematics as researchers do it. It is accredited by the French Ministry of Education as “Educational association complementary of the public teaching” and won the presidential initiative « La France s’Engage » in 2015. It gathers approximately 700 volunteer teachers and researchers and attracted more than 3800 pupils in 2016-2017 (very close to gender parity; 47% of girls / 53% of boys which is rare in mathematics activities at school). The association has also an international dimension by coordinating workshops all around the world (Africa, Europe, Middle-East, North-America). So far, most of the schools involved are part of the French education system (French schools abroad).
MeJ promotes and coordinates research workshops in schools, (mainly in secondary schools) which are faithfully reproducing the life of a mathematics laboratory. It allows young people of all origins and school levels to meet researchers and practice a genuine scientific approach. To discover the detailed method, please read next section.
Its governance is based on a Board of 24 people, elected every 3 years during an annual general meeting. The Board, which is the governing and decision-making body, meets three or four times a year and can be consulted via emails when quick strategic choices are required. The Board elects the Bureau, which is the executive body of the association, currently composed of 10 members. The office meets physically 6 times a year and more than 12 times by videoconference.
In addition, with the view to ensuring the quality of its activities, the association has several committees:
- Scientific Committee constituted of top scientists, its role is to assist the association in the choice of its scientific and pedagogical orientations and to contribute to the improvement of its action.
- Editorial Committee composed of volunteer members, this committee receives the research articles written by the pupils and publish them, after validation, on the website of the association.
- Workshops coordination committee constituted of volunteer members. This committee is the link between the association and the workshops, making the information flow in one direction or the other. Its additional essential role is to connect teachers and researchers.
- Organising committees For the organisation of congresses or other events, local committees are created.
MeJ also employs paid staff: two full-time positions and one 0.6 FTE (full-time equivalent). Two are based in Paris: the executive assistant is in charge of the global management of MeJ and the coordination of congresses (1 FTE) and the administrative and accounting assistant is monitoring the association budget (0.6 FTE). The last employee, based in Bordeaux, is managing the national and international development (1 FTE). The latter has been partly dedicated to the construction of the M&L project and is now managing it.