Prevention Of being NEETs Through Action Learning

(PONTAL project)


2nd Newsletter

May 2022

Project at glance

PONTAL project deals with the prevention of becoming NEET of pupils attending last grades of primary schools in their close future.


NEET (= "Not in Education, Employment, or Training") refers to a person who is unemployed and not receiving an education or vocational training.


PONTAL maps the current situation in involved countries, trying to identify risk factors of becoming NEET and to identify the pupils at risk.

Pupils at risk will be offered the participation in tailored workshops focused on state-of-the-art technologies to support their motivation for technological studies and to prevent them of being unemployed.


What is new in the VR/AR?



We started the courses on 10th January 2022 at the Faculty Primary School Barrandov. According to the PONTAL's methodology, participants get familiar with the difference between VR and AR, concept of VR and AR and with all necessary devices they will work with (new device for them is Oculus Quest 2 headset being used for virtual demonstrations).


After this, expert has prepared new challenges and tasks for students to acquire basic knowledge and especially skills with this technology. To date, the pupils have learned to fully work in the CoSpaces Edu program and present their results at the end of each workshop (so far 360° tours, 3D tour - ZOO, merge cubes with different objects within and outside the cube) Pupils have also tried programming of CoBlocks with aim to get the first real experience with the coding.

The pilot course is already in its second half in the country and will end in April. We are very pleased that we have already had a positive oral responses not only from pupils but also from teachers that would like to introduce similar workshops into mainstream IT classes. 


On May 9, at the last workshop, we asked participants to complete electronic satisfaction surveys about the workshop series. Of the 14 participants who responded, 12 indicated that they found the course sufficiently hands-on and 10 indicated that the course helped them gain significant new knowledge and skills in technology. Finally, we were very pleased with the level of overall satisfaction with the overall quality of the course (10 of the 14 participants indicated this), while 13 of them indicated that they were very satisfied with the way the course was delivered. This confirmed to us the correct choice to use the Action Learning method.



Workshops started on 15th December 2021 and ended on 11th March 2022.


VR/AR expert Cansu Dilbazer taught the pupils for 5 weeks.


In the beginning we noticed the indifference of some participants who were ignorant about the subject was remarkable. It changed rapidly in the following days when their interest was significantly increased thanks to very high level of engagement and action learning approach in the course.


At the end of the pilot courses, we provided the pupils with the satisfaction questionnaires.Almost 90% of the participants were satisfied with the way of teaching and leading the course. 93% of students answered the course is practically oriented. 65.5% of the students stated they wanted to be taught in other technological fields in the same way and last but not least, 69% stated they would recommend the course to other friends.

What is new in Robotics & Coding?



The IC "Giulio Cesare" of Savignano sul Rubicone started a course of Robotics, Coding and 3D Printer for teachers in March till April 2022. The teachers have been trained by the experts of the Enaip Foundation of Forlì Cesena. Thanks to this course, the teachers are able to pass know-how to children at risk of being NEET, in the framework of the PONTAL project in which the Institute is a partner.

At the end of April 2022, the teachers organized the Robotics and Coding Course for 26 participants representing primary school pupils.

Project through courses supports the discovery of a world in which they can code to animate, program, move elements, approach computer science with creative tools combined with reading, writing, calculations to create and solve the tasks.

The course takes place every Monday in the afternoon, it is composed on 5 modules with a duration of 2,5 hours. The last lesson lasts 3 hours and includes games and verification quizzes too.

The children reacted positively to the proposed courses and are they're very interested and engaged. From the 2nd lesson they are already able to program the robots and they are excited to continue with the course.

What is new in the 3D printing?



On Wednesday, 2nd March, selected students from 8-9th grades from 3 Lithuanian schools (Šlienava primary school, Kaunas Engineering Lyceum, Ukmerge Antanas Smetona gymnasium) started a 3D printing course using the action learning method.


During the course, students were introduced to Blender, a free, open-source 3D authoring software, and Cinema 4D, a professional 3D modeling, animation, simulation, and rendering software.


The course included a hands-on experience with SketchUP 3D modeling software for a wide range of drawing and design applications including architectural, interior design, industrial and product design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, theatre, film, and video game development.


Students completed an assignment in which they attempted to design a house using SketchUP. In this activity, the students learned the basic controls of SketchUp, how to draw 3D geometric shapes and how to draw a realistic drawing of a house according to the given dimensions.


They also carried out tasks with TinkerCAD and printing. Each student tested the tools on the computer to understand how they work. The pupils carried out a room design task using TinkerCAD, drawing sketches of rooms, furniture, and wall layouts. They created the walls, floors, windows, and doors of the room. The task allowed the students to design not only a room or a classroom, but also to better understand and navigate their environment and to be able to recreate what they see. They also developed their design thinking, and acquired the skills to make technical solutions and demonstrate them.

notification dated 12.5.2022

Other workshops getting ready ...

We will bring you information about the courses in Estonia and Hungary in the next edition of the newsletter as the experts in these countries are still preparing the courses and we expect them to start in the next few days.

What's next?

The project is in its 2nd half. We have successfully mapped the current situation in terms of the NEETs phenomenon and identified the needs of pupils in 5 different European countries.


With our experts We've developed course methodologies for 3 selected modern technologies (VR/AR, 3D printing and Robotics) with action learning elements, which we are currently piloting and testing in all partner countries.


However we are still not at the end of our planned activities as we want to make the most out of our implementation period & sources & skills we have. Let's look what's still waiting for us all till September 2022 when the project will officially end:

1) Completion of courses in partner countries

The consortium is committed to properly complete the piloting of methodologies tailored to the selected sectors and the profile of the participants. In some partner countries the courses started earlier and have already finished (Turkey and Czech republic).


In other countries the piloting is ongoing and in other countries, due to more complicated organisation with local stakeholders, the courses are still in preparation (Hungary and Estonia).

2) Getting feedback from all course participants

As part of evaluating the success of the project, we will provide course participants with a satisfaction questionnaire to get feedback on our innovative approach to teaching modern technologies and the course content itself. We consider this as the crucial feedback.


Based on this, we will be able to say whether the project has been a big success which will motivate us to continue supporting technical education at primary schools and prevent drop-outs.


So far the satisfaction surveys have been collected in Turkey and Czech republic. Their specific results we will introduce in the next newsletter. However what we can say already now is that we are positively surprised.

3) Promotion of the project in the participating countries

Meaningful initiatives always deserve promotion, including ensuring the dissemination of outputs. This is also the case in our project. Each partner will organise a "multiplier event" in its country as a tool to promote the activities and outputs to all relevant stakeholders. These events are expected to take place after the completion and evaluation of the pilot courses (expected date of events May/June 2022).


In the Czech Republic as the country of the project coordinator, we plan to host the final conference of the project in September 2022.

4) Next transnational project meeting in Budapest, Hungary

We've agreed to meet up face-to-face to discuss the results of the piloting as well as the feedback in countries where already known. Part of the meeting will be also devoted to the design of above mentioned "multiplier events" with the aim to get the interest of the maximum number of relevant stakeholders.

The meeting is planned to take place on Tuesday, 17th of May 2022.