Romanian Students with Special Needs and Spanish Students from Primary Classes Communicate through Robots (Erasmus+)

Erasmus+ Accreditation Project ”Connecting, we grow!”, carried out by our school in the period 2021-2026 aims to increase the quality of the educational-therapeutic process for students with mental disabilities and to align it to the European educational quality standards. For the school year 2022-2023 one of the objectives of this project was the development of skills for students to live independently.

Thus, within the project with the number 2022-1-RO01-KA121-SCH-000064315, from the Erasmus+ program, Key Action 1, Training Mobility in the field of School Education, six students from the Special Professional School ”Sf. Nicolae” from the preparatory classes, the Third and Fifth grade, accompanied by three teachers, during 14-20 May 2023 participated in the STEAM education learning carried out by the external partner – Rioturbio Primary School, Mieres, Spain.

The six students who participated in this learning trip are students with special needs – mental disabilities, autism, Down syndrome – aged 9 to 14 years. Although before leaving, cultural and linguistic training activities were carried out in the school, especially focused on the development of independent life skills, we worked with the hosting school to create common pictograms (in Romanian and Spanish) so as to ensure the most independent communication between our students and the Spanish students.

Besides, the hosting school was very open to all the needs of the children and this made them feel integrated in their community. Spanish students were also very keen to interact with the Romanian ones and offered their help whenever needed. Moreover, on the last day of the trip, Spanish children offered some gifts to Romanian children, as a sign of their friendship.

The activities included in the student program were both disconnected activities, as well as digital activities or mixed activities of using some applications or editors,these being planned as a succession from simple to complex, from concrete to digital.

On the first day, the activities were among the most diverse, especially ice-breakers, so that students got to know each other. Then, using clues received through QR codes, all students, divided into three mixed detective teams, solved together the mysteries of the disappearance of a work of art, with the investigations taking them all over the town. The pictogram book was very much used in this activity, we, the companions of Romanian students, intervening only when it was necessary.

The next day brought activities with and about robots, unconnected (non-digital). Students made and decorated robot masks and then, guided by Spanish students, turned themselves into robots traveling on a route. The route was made from the chips of the game „Let’s go code!”, while on a screen it was displayed the „coding program”, that is the corresponding set of commands that once executed by the robot were sending it from point A to point B through certain movements.

On the third day, the students attended a concert held by the Asturias Principality Symphony Orchestra, held at the Oviedo Auditorium. The main objective of the concert was to attract children to the world of music and musical instruments, in a pleasant, engaging and surprising way! In this way, the organizers – the host school – also included the A activities of STEAM, that is, the art activities.

On the fourth day, Romanian and Spanish students participated in digital coding activities using the ScratchJr app. Thus, they chose their character, customized it to their liking and configured a coding program through which they set up movements of the chosen character.

And on the last day they had fun dressing up as tourists and turning their photos through the ChromaKey app.

In addition to the learning experience, students also participated in very entertaining and exciting cultural activities, which gave them the opportunity to learn more about the Spanish culture and gastronomy, but also about the geography of this country, all the children being fascinated by the ocean.

As their first participation in an international learning programme and their first trip abroad, this experience had a positive impact on all six students and, even more, on their families: students have shown an increased motivation for learning to further have the chance to be selected in a mobility program, while on the part of the parents, there was an increased confidence in the school’s approach to educational activities and the learning program.

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Cristina Cotescu, special psychopedagogy teacher
Valentina Mănescu, special psychopedagogy teacher
Special Professional School „St. Nicolas”, Bucharest


prof. Valentina Mănescu

Școala Profesională Specială Sf. Nicolae (Bucureşti) , România
Profil iTeach:

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