Aalto University invests in children and young people – Aalto University Junior is ready for adventure

17.01.2018

New facilities for child and youth activities opened at Otaniemi campus.

Children and young people can experiment different kind of things in the new Aalto University Junior laboratories. (Photo: Aino Huovio)

Aalto University is offering more activities for children and young people. The new Aalto University Junior concept brings together Aalto's expertise in science, arts, entrepreneurship, management, mathematics, and technology while offering related activities to children and young people both at school and on the university's campus.

Aalto University has long traditions of cooperation with schools, in LUMA activities, for instance. Functional learning visits have been organised for school classes and it has been possible to request visits by researchers to school classes. Various science events and lectures have also been on offer.

In the future, Aalto University Junior will be organising more child and youth activities such as camps, hobby clubs, and various themed events.

“Change begins with children and young people. They are the kinds of courageous explorers and open-minded experimenters who shape the future. We, at the university, can learn much from them,” says Aalto University President Ilkka Niemelä. “Especially important for us is cooperation that extends across different fields. Aalto University Junior activities generates cooperation for which I am very proud. This means that we create skills and knowledge that we want to share with the entire educational system.”

The goal of activities targeting children and young people is to help them find their interests and to realise their full potential and to make use of them throughout their lives and in society.  Another aim is to lower the threshold between kids and the world of academia. An example of this is the School as a Service concept developed jointly by Aalto and the City of Espoo in which universities, upper secondary schools, and private companies work together on a daily basis. It is possible to share premises, teaching, as well as various projects. The Haukilahti Upper Secondary School has been on the Otaniemi campus for a year and the Pohjois-Tapiola Upper Secondary School has been there since the autumn.

Joys of experimentation and insight in new laboratories

The new Aalto University Junior facilities opened on the Otaniemi campus on 16 January. In the future, Aalto's LUMA activities and the LUMA Centre at Aalto University will also operate under the name Aalto University Junior. Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen brought the greeting of the Finnish government to the opening event. Also operating in the same premises is Biofilia, which is a research and teaching laboratory focusing on the field of biological arts. Aalto University Junior gets expertise from Biofilia in subjects related to biological art and technology. Meanwhile, Aalto University Junior helps artists working at Biofilia establish contacts in the school world.

More information:

Eija Zitting
Head of Learning Services, Aalto University
tel. +358 50 364 7778
eija.zitting@aalto.fi