The big moment for the pupils of the Diderot school in this town in the northern suburbs of Paris remains the game played with the African champion, broadcast on big screens for the some 120 people present in the refectory to enjoy.
Of the fifty students, plus parents, brothers and sisters, none knew that the surprise guest was a football star. The PowerZ teams are also there for an educational project set up in February: supporting students from CE1 to CM2 in the discovery of the PowerZ metaverse.
“Doudou” Mendy makes a star entrance. White T-shirt, beige jogging, big smile, the children jump on him, some even dare to give a brief embrace in the arms of the goalkeeper who repelled a shot from Mohamed Salah for a Senegal-Egypt qualifier for the World Cup in Qatar (21 November – 18 December).
“I am very invested in this project, for me children are the future, education is the basis,” he told AFP.
PowerZ “gets it right,” adds Mendy, “we’ve found an app to bring together both fun and learning, it’s awesome.”
– “Very connected, but often poorly connected” –
“We have a generation where the children are very connected, but often poorly connected”, continues the goalkeeper, father of two boys aged 4 and 6, who fell in love with this game, in particular the fact that it is free, or more precisely “free to pay”. Those who install it are free to pay what they want.
“For it to be useful, it must be free, to recreate a mix that we no longer necessarily find at school”, justifies the CEO of PowerZ, Emmanuel Freund, who regrets that “digital tools, accelerators effective in learning, are underutilized”.
With his team of around fifty people, accompanied by “specialists in video games and education”, such as the publishers Bayard and Hachette, he therefore designed “an educational fantasy game, but not yet another serious game (serious game )”. And the students actually love it.
While waiting for Mendy to arrive, they feast on the many possibilities of this universe, such as the “game of the mule”, where you have to remember the lines of a poem to move the mule forward. In the game of doors, you have to cross halls quickly with mental calculation, to open the one of the three doors with the correct result of the operation.
– “It teaches us things” –
Like Armstrong, black tracksuit and tear in the eye (very moved to play with Édouard Mendy), several champions have been selected to share a part with the winner of the 2021 Champions League.
Kelyna, 9 years old, pupil of CM1, is very applauded by the room when she places the invention of photography between the reign of Louis XIV and the invention of the telephone.
She also succeeds flawlessly in this game where you have to put events in chronological order, and in turn is entitled to a clap in the hand, footballer style, with Mendy.
“It teaches us things, I like the game of dates,” she slips, glasses and braids tied in a ponytail, except for one that hangs over her blue T-shirt, adorned with a red pearl.
By ruffling the head of his son Ishmael (8 years old), Khalid Saddiki (46 years old) explains that “you have to interest him, otherwise he does not concentrate. This game is a great initiative, original”.
Emmanuel Freund, who plans to “launch the American version this summer” and has raised “10 million euros for the development of the game internationally”, welcomes the investment of Mendy, financier, without disclosing the amount, but above all personal. His own avatar, with his green goalkeeper outfit, has also joined the game.
“Drancy is a first step”, concludes the Senegalese goalkeeper, “I have a bigger ambition for PowerZ, it is to see it on a global scale, because there is real potential”.