Thursday November 5th and Friday November 6th the Porto Lab team, composed by Youth Communication specialists, Coordinators, Partners and Tutors who assist students during the visits organized inside Contship Italia Group terminals, got together in Cagliari. The work and commitment of this team remains a key factor for the success of Porto Lab project, which celebrates 10 years of activity in 2015.
Once again, thanks to Porto Lab Academy, this working group had the opportunity to meet and share new ideas and projects. An opportunity to develop specific knowledge and skills, learning more about the best methods to ensure to the 2000+ kids participating in the project each year, that each visit will be interesting and unforgettable. Porto Lab tutors are women and men employed in the companies that are part of Contship Italia Group, who choose to dedicate part of their time organizing and leading educational visits, organized with elementary schools all over Italy every Tuesday and Thursday, from January to May.
Ten years have gone by since their initial commitment and has helped the Contship Italia Group to open up – to a very selected public, consisting of participating classes and teachers – the gates of its Maritime and Intermodal Terminals. These visits to the Terminals allow guests to witness first hand a world that is often inaccessible, and thus relatively unknown. Besides the unique opportunity to access the operational areas (strictly following all safety guidelines), during each visit kids can try to understand the functioning of the world of logistics, learning more about the skills, the responsibilities and the opportunities relative to the different roles of the people that operate inside the port. Thanks to Porto Lab tutors, the container has been made “transparent”; it is now possible to understand more about the revolutionary innovation represented by its introduction, reflecting on the safety and the efficiency of cargo shipping, that help move the goods we produce and consume each day.
These are not simple “school trips”: starting from the very first years, the project pushed the boundaries and the scope of the visits, which went beyond simple hospitality and towards a joint development of complementary, useful, original and effective educational tools. Such tools are capable of supporting kids and teachers in their learning and teaching before, during and after the visits. The scientific side of the project has been managed, since a number of years, by Roberta Barzaghi and Emanuele Breveglieri, theatrical and scientific animators, specialized in organizing experiential laboratories for kids, and consulting teachers and educators in supporting the development of didactic programs and educational games. Contship Italia Group together with this team are committed to researching and experimenting continuous new experiences dedicated to the young guests. In order to achieve these results the collaboration with Piero Tirone and the ADW agency has been very important since they have created the design and graphic of the Contship Diary and, more recently, the new Porto Lab website.
During these two days our tutors had the opportunity to interact directly with the experts, experiencing first-hand the activities that they will propose to the kids during their visits. Apart from the time dedicated to training, this edition of the Academy has been the right occasion to look back at the last 10 years and think ahead to the next ten, and thank the project partners and sponsors for their fundamental role, highlighted by a formal moment: the gift of a personalized plate, dedicated to the shared journey, to Emerson Industrial Automation (represented by Gianbattista Dubini), Gruppo Grendi (Antonio Musso), OMG MGM (Gloria Rango), Port Authority of La Spezia (Monica Fiorini), Port Authority of Gioia Tauro (Concetta Schiariti) and Port Authority of Cagliari (Marco Pili e Federica Cannas). Of course, the award was assigned to the partners who could not be present in Cagliari, too: Port Authority of Ravenna, Inail – Ravenna office, Inail - La Spezia office, ATC La Spezia, Briedacabins, SKF Logistics Services Italy, Kalmar Italia and Sapir.
So far, Porto Lab has involved 19,000 students, which corresponds to 5 kids visiting every day, during the last 10 years. 850 classes participated and 100,000 Contship diaries have been distributed for free, together with 25,000 kits (helmet, high visibility braces, bag, stickers and personalized pass).
“Nobody could imagine this result, 10 years ago” – comments Daniele Testi, Contship Italia Group Marketing and Communication Director – “We received support from the Group management and the shareholders, who believed in this initiative since the beginning, acknowledging its innovative and educational spirit. The rest has been done by them, the tutors, committed day after day to offer the best service for the visiting schools, resulting in a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience, leveraging on their enthusiasm and dedication. They deserve our biggest thanks. During these days we are collecting the stories of some of our former guests, who participated in the project 10 years ago. Today they are almost 18 years old, and they might tell us about their memories of that journey to the port or the intermodal hub, and how it influenced their perception of the world of transport and logistics.”