Project Based Learning with Desafío AE

What is Desafío AE?

Desafío AE is an educational project developed and promoted by Valnalón (Ciudad Industrial del Valle del Nalón S.A.U.). It is linked to the subject of Initiation to Entrepreneurship and Business Activity in 3rd year of compulsory secondary education (approximately 14-15 years old), but it can also be a school project or be taught in other subjects or levels where it is intended to give special relevance to the competence of sense of initiative and entrepreneurship. 

It uses Project Based Learning as its methodology and its main objective is for students to acquire entrepreneurial skills that will enable them to face future personal and professional challenges. 

It is a practical and real work experience in which students work together in a collaborative and coordinated way. During the process, a group of students create a team that faces the challenge of devising, planning and implementing an activity that they themselves decide on and that must be carried out in their centre or in their immediate environment. 

This work process implies that students should: 

  • Analyse different forms of entrepreneurship
  • Explore the socio-economic environment 
  • Generate ideas in accordance with the needs or demands detected. 
  • Plan the necessary resources to carry out the project. 
  • Execute the idea once its viability has been analysed. 
The Desafío AE method

Project Analysis

In this case, we are going to analyse a project carried out by the students of La Milagrosa School in Gijón, Spain during the 2021-22 school year which was affected by the pandemic situation caused by COVID-19. 

During this school year, students attended the school in two groups, with one group attending one day and the other group the next day, so the whole class did not attend together throughout the school year. 

This year the group carried out a project entitled “Litter Project” which sought to raise awareness among the educational community about the importance of caring for the environment, as well as to improve cleanliness in all areas of the school. 

The students proposed the activities to be carried out and when to carry them out, calculated the budget and established the measures to evaluate the efficiency of their proposal. 

In addition, the students proposed marketing channels and even contacted external companies with expertise in the sector to obtain advice and materials that could help them in the development of the project. 

Student Reflections

Following the project, in the 2021-22 academic year, interviews were conducted with three of the students who took part in the project to reflect on entrepreneurial education and the educational model used during the pandemic. Take a look at the gallery below to read some of the most interesting reflections .

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Finally, an EntreComp self-assessment skills test was carried out with all students in the classroom and the following results were collected: 

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From the results obtained, it is worth mentioning that skills such as initiative and learning from experience are rated positively, but difficulties in skills such as creativity and financial education are also stand out.  

About Valnalón

The Desafío AE project is an educational project developed and promoted by Valnalón. Valnalón (Ciudad Industrial del Valle del Nalón S.A.U.) was created in 1987 by the Government of the Principality of Asturias with the aim of designing and carrying out a plan for the regeneration, promotion and dynamisation of business in the Nalón Basin. 

In 1993, the ‘Entrepreneurship Training Chain‘ was launched to help foster a more entrepreneurial society by developing two areas in parallel: 

  • Entrepreneurial promotion with the aim of promoting business development. 
  • Entrepreneurial education, the aim of which is to promote entrepreneurial skills at different levels of education. 

By David Fernández Montes

Tutor Entrepreneurship Education Programme