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The experimentation of the third and last unit of ROAR ended with a special event at Filtrec S.p.A.. Filtrec is a manufacturer known worldwide for the production and distribution of hydraulic filters. For the final project of ROAR III, the Operations Manager Emanuele Giliani described to us the problem of optimizing milk-run routes to visit contractors several times a week. We adapted and simplified the problem based on students’ skills. We implemented a first version of the model in the classroom. Then, every group had to independently formulate and implement a different family of constraints. Once put these together, we obtained and solved the final version by using historical data given by the company. Finally, students wrote a report and held a presentation at Filtrec headquarters in Telgate (Bergamo, Italy), where they also visited the factory and the warehouse.

This way, we finished also finished the pilot experimentation of ROAR with this class of students. Since March 2021, we have seen mathematical programming, graph theory, implementation of mathematical models in Python and PuLP, and much more related to operations research and beyond. Students developed not only technical but also soft skills, such as problem solving, teamwork, time management, and public speaking, which they will find useful in their future, regardless what path they will choose. Indeed, after ROAR, we don’t expect all of them to pursue careers in STEM disciplines. But we do hope that we have fascinated them with myriad applications of operations research and, mostly, that we have given them a scientific approach to tackle any problem they’ll come across.

Thanks to all the people involved in this project, especially the students of 5^I Liceo Scientifico (scienze applicate) at IIS Antonietti in Iseo (Brescia, Italy), and Alessandro Gobbi, Eugenia Taranto, Gabriella Colajanni, and Marinella Picchi.

If interested, you can find all details and initiatives related to ROAR on the official Italian website, and all developed material on a GitHub repository, both in Italian and English, soon to be updated with the latest resources.