Cows can fly

Last March 2024, the ZUR_EKIN project (which means “with you” in Basque) was presented in the auditorium of the Bilbao campus of the University of Deusto (UD). It is a mentoring program aimed at accompanying and developing gifted students in Secondary Education and Baccalaureate, in which professors from different faculties of the UD (Law, Engineering, Deusto Business School, Education and Sports, Social and Human Sciences) mentor the students.

It is run and managed by the Unit of Support for the Development of High Intellectual Abilities, which is part of the Faculty of Education and Sport of the UD, in collaboration with the Department of Education of the Basque Government. My “good luck” this year, among others, has been to have the privilege of being part of this Unit (in which we have worked, and a lot). Although I have not been in direct contact with the students and teachers of the project, as a Unit, we have developed several lines and tasks of research that we consider very necessary to provide a quality educational response to this type of students.

In this first edition of the pioneer project in the Basque Autonomous Community, around thirty students from different schools have participated. On June 12, 2024 they presented, in a closing session of this edition, the projects they have carried out accompanied by their mentors.

Unfortunately, I could not attend the first part of the event, but I was able to enjoy many of the presentations made by the students in the second part, as well as the round table in which students and teachers participated.

It is great that, finally, visibility is given and work is being done for and with this type of students!

We know that there are things to improve, because nobody is perfect, but today I want to focus on the positive aspects of the June 12 session (we will leave the improvements to work on them). This time, this post is for the gifted students. Their presentations have been very diverse, from projects based on cows that can fly or cows that listen to music to produce better quality milk, to entrepreneurial projects based on the interests of young people or companies that bet on social economy and integrated social value.

I would like to highlight some of the characteristics of this group of young people, who have had the courage to face an audience of students, teachers and families who are very proud of them and the opportunity they have seized:

  • Involvement
  • Effort
  • Collaboration
  • Peer learning
  • Listening
  • Trust
  • Very positive attitude
  • Appreciation
  • Desire for more (to know, to learn, to work, to learn about new topics)
  • Extra-curiosity
  • Enjoyment
  • Ability to communicate orally
  • Desire for freedom of expression and to ask questions to learn

The challenges they have worked on, besides satisfying many of their varied interests, have opened their minds even more, have allowed them to open up to new possibilities in an uncertain future for some of them, and have allowed them to demonstrate that they are very capable of solving problems in a creative way and even using totally unknown tools that, at the beginning, are used in very advanced educational courses compared to the ones they are in right now.

Congratulations for your achievements and thank you for teaching us. I am sure that what you showed us a few days ago is only the beginning of your path to success.

Enjoy July.