How would you give a new usage to an abandoned space? That was the challenge entrepreneur Beatriz Rodríguez Álvarez proposed to VET Beauty Program students at IES El Batán (Mieres, Asturies, Spain) as part of Valnalón TMP Challenge, a project coordinated by Paz Fernández, teacher of Business and Entrepreneurship at the centre.
After searching for the right space, students decided on a nearby tunnel. They would transform the space for a cultural initiative of their own: “Bottled Stories”, which encouraged people to write their own stories and introduce them to a bottle rack in the tunnel so everybody can read them (and they could be shared in the project’s web and social networks).
The project was challenging: tunnel was 21 meters long and 2.40 meters width, and students had one month for its execution with an initial budget of… zero euros. Students worked on the project both during and outside school hours and managed to engage different associations and even companies from the city in joining the proposal. Stories floated from the English Reading Club, the Creative Writing Club, the youth association for intellectually disabled people “El Camín”, elderly and retirement houses and local neighbours. On May 31st 2017, al involved collectives held a public meeting at the local Public Library, where several stories were read.
The project – which has also received a lot of media coverage- is being implemented again this school year (2017‐2018) by students of the Hairdressing Program, who will carry out a service‐learning project with elderly people in connection with “Bottled Stories” project.
Mieres (Asturias, Spain)
IES El Batán (Secondary/VET School)
Mieres Public Library
English Reading Club
Creative Writing Club
Youth association “El Camín”
Mieres Elderly Home
This is what co-production could look like in education. Obvious social impact: tangible product/service and transformation of social relations at local level (intergenerational, different stakeholders)