|Sumár projektu:||As well as being a cultural exchange between schools in five different countries, the project aims to be an exchange of knowledge, skills and best practices. It will enable young people of different nationalities to work together, create a simulated start-up organisation and solve real-life problems. The results from the project will, in turn, benefit wider communities, while knowledge and expertise will be passed on to others within each school.
Initially, the Dutch school made contact with four other schools in different countries (Portugal, Slovakia, Italy and Spain), asking them to participate in a joint Erasmus + project. A preparation meeting was organised and held in Portugal in January 2017, in which two staff members from each school met, worked out ideas and objectives, and created the project.
The project will last two years. In the first year there will be meetings in the Netherlands and Portugal and in the second in Spain, Italy and Slovakia. Five different 14 and 15 year old students with suitable academic records and good levels of English will travel from every school to each meeting, accompanied by two teachers of different specialities and backgrounds.
During the meetings, five-person teams will be formed, with a student from each country making up each team. After performing team-building activities to enhance cooperation and build trust, participants will work on different aspects of starting a business (business plan, market research, budgeting etc...) and exchange best practices while creating and developing a start-up company to deal with a specific problem or situation. Teams will make use of the scrum method to organise themselves, plan their tasks and monitor progress. In addition, they will be encouraged to use the Lean Startup methodology to help guide them as the project develops. Staff will also ensure that teams learn from what they are actually doing, evaluating what works and doesn’t work, and understanding why. A key aim of the project is to promote young people`s entrepreneurial skills and encourage them to think in creative, practical ways to solve real problems.
Carrying out this project will enable the participating staff to create new teaching material. This material will be developed over the two years, made into a module and applied to future courses in the participating schools.
The project will be carried out using different assignments that students work on while they are together during the meetings, and also when they are in their own countries and have to communicate in other ways, for example, by email, Skype, telephone or text message. Students will, in turn, have to pass on relevant information to the next group of participating students in their school.
During each visit all the groups will be closely monitored and guided by the participating staff so that they stay on course to reach their objectives. At the same time, the teachers will pay attention to the wellbeing and performance of the students. Staff will also use feedback from students to improve the project’s development and produce the final module.
In the fifth and final meeting in Slovakia the students will present the best practices exchanged and used over the two years of the project, and show how the start-ups have attempted to solve a specific problem. The final module will also be presented.
In addition to working on their start-up, during each meeting students will also do leisure activities together, go on day trips and spend time with their host families. All of which add to the cultural exchange.
At the end of the two years, the project’s results and conclusions will be presented to people within each school; students, board members and staff. Using its contacts and associations, each school will also ensure the results are publicised in the wider community via presentations, media and new technology, so that they reach as many people and sectors as possible. These would include other schools and learning centres in the area, town councils and the private sector.
In addition, a new module connected to entrepreneurship, creative thinking and problem-solving will have been created for future use within each school. It is also hoped that participating students will have improved their English and learned about the culture and way of life of the other participating countries.
In the longer term, it is hoped that the students will become open-minded, innovative adults who are creative thinkers and ready and willing to work across borders in a global context. We want to prepare students to go out into the world with the necessary skills to work successfully in today and tomorrow’s world.