UnLeash was an innovative, transdisciplinary project based programme for schools undertaken in 2020. This virtual programme was introduced at the beginning of the pandemic times to support the school curriculum and was undertaken with students aged 16–19 in schools in the UK and Spain. It provided a unique opportunity for students to learn in the moment of COVID-19, taking advantage of not having exams and a prescribed curriculum to follow.

Its objective was to encourage self-directed learning and collaboration and build upon academic studies to develop skills and competencies to prepare students for their next stage of school life and beyond into employment. The programme focused on developing competencies across the core skills of innovation, leadership and enterprise. Students worked in teams to research the UN Sustainable Development Goals, identify a problem faced by a different country during the pandemic, and use innovation and design thinking skills to create a social innovation aimed at improving the lives of the population in an allocated country.

Their final solutions were summarised either by writing a 500-word news style article or giving a 10 -minute video presentation. At the end of the programme they were also asked to deliver a talk in the style of a formal resolution to the United Nations in Geneva, either live or pre-recorded using Microsoft Teams.

The programme culminated in two filmed projects – a short advert on TikTok about UNleash, for students who might be interested in the programme in the following year and a 5-minute edited video capturing their journey over the programme.

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