The project started with preparation for the kickoff meeting, which was held online on November 3rd, 2020. The agenda included: introduction of participants and partner organizations; presentation of the project; presentation and discussion of the IO; discussion and decision making on different aspects of the project management (communication, dissemination, budget management, monitoring, etc.); evaluation of the event. 

During the first months of the project implementation, the partners set the main principles of cooperation, established local work groups, and started with the intellectual output development activities. 

 Project partners have already completed the development of the methodological materials for Think Inside the Box technological events. Two parts of the materials have been created: one for grades 5-8 and another for grades 9-12. Each part contains a scenario for a 3-day event, slide presentations for pupils to be used in the classroom, and a handbook for teachers. Additional documents and files, such as 3D printing instructions, working files of 3D details that have to be pre-printed, templates for cutting out boxes, etc. are also available for the use of teachers. The materials were created in English and Lithuanian and are in the process of translation to Estonian and Romanian. 

Research tools were also developed. Their aim is to collect feedback from teachers and pupils after the Think Inside the Box events, in order to evaluate the methodology, skill development, and suggestions for improvement. Questionnaires for pupils were translated to national languages. 

 A 3-day transnational staff training event was planned in the application. It had to take place in Vilnius in March 2021. The goal of the activity was to train the teachers from partner schools, so that they are able to test the Think Inside the Box methodology with the pupil target groups. 

However, the pandemic situation made international travel practically impossible. It was also obvious that testing the materials with pupils would not be able to start in March, as it was planned in the application, due to remote learning that was implemented in all partner countries. 

After discussing various possibilities, project partners decided to make a virtual staff training activity instead of a physical one. Training was divided into sessions, which were distributed from April 7 to June 3. Partner schools’ teachers gained not only theoretical, but also practical knowledge on the Think Inside the Box event methodology and technological tools needed for these events.

As it was expected, three out of five partners had students back at school in June and could already deliver the first testing activities. The rest of the piloting will be implemented in the beginning of the next school year. 

Project’s team has had intense and productive communication and collaboration. Virtual team meetings were held each month. Meeting participants include project coordinators, material developers, heads of methodological units, and teachers. This combination allows us to exchange information and opinions as well as plan the next activities in the most effective way. 

Robotikos mokykla created and published the project’s website It contains the main information about the project’s goals, activities and planned outcomes. The News section contains articles about the main accomplishments of the project in general and in partner organizations. 

 On the website, which is the platform for the lesson materials developed in the project, a separate course category dedicated to this project was created. The link to them was shared with internal project users and testers (teachers, pilot group pupils and other team members within the partnership). At a later stage, the materials on the platform will be actively promoted among stakeholders and the wide public. 

Photo credits: Gert Lutter (Kuressaare Gümnaasium)