Shoes that can charge a mobile phone – Helsinki Education Week inspired and engaged

Helsinki Education Week, held in the first week of November, brought together people interested in education from all over the world. The event week included workshops, discussion events and networking, as well as introductions to various teaching innovations and learning environments. In the international Clean Energy Challenge workshop, pupils from Helsinki were inspired to discuss, among other things, whether there could be shoes that could charge a mobile phone.

Helsinki Education Week offered 108 different virtual programmes that gained over 2,100 participants. One programme of the event week was the Clean Energy Challenge workshop where pupils came up with new kinds of energy innovations. Central to the workshop was the pupils’ participation, innovation and creativity.

‘The most fun part was that you could use your imagination and come up with new kinds of things,’ says Matilda Happonen, a third-grader at Vattuniemi Comprehensive School in Helsinki. Enthusiasm was evident as the pupils developed electric aeroplanes, food robots and wind turbine cars, among other things. One group had the idea of shoes and fabric that could collect kinetic energy. ‘They could be used to charge a mobile phone, for example,’ the pupils contemplated.

The workshop was held in English by Dutch educational innovators Emer Beamer and Ina Conkic. ‘It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but I got the overall picture,’ says Matilda. Classmate Casper Jutila continues: ‘They spoke clear English and I was able to make out what they were saying.’

The event week provided tips for practical work, inspiring examples, exchange of experiences – and much more!

‘Helsinki Education Week is an important celebration of doing things together and learning. It gives visibility to the high-quality everyday work, activities, learning and teaching in our schools, educational institutions and daycare centres. The events of the week highlight successes, good practices and creative solutions. Several of our interest groups also presented interesting solutions to support learning,’ says Head of Development Services at the Education Division Marjo Kyllönen.

‘The programme week, which was aimed at teachers and other educational professionals, groups of children and pupils, as well as guardians, provided not only tips and tools for practical work, but also opportunities to exchange experiences, learn from others and network. With international partners, it was also possible to interact with educational developers from elsewhere in the world,’ Marjo Kyllönen continues.

A hundred new international educational innovations

Helsinki Education Week was held at the same time as the HundrED Innovation Summit, a part of which was the Global Collection event that presented a hundred international innovations related to comprehensive school education. The aim of the innovations is to develop and renew education, which is why there is need to communicate them globally.

This year, more than half of the hundred learning innovations selected focus on developing social and emotional skills. Five Finnish educational innovations also gained visibility: Arkki, HEI Schools, Hello Ruby, Kide Science and School Day Wellbeing.

In 2020, Helsinki Education Week was held for the third time. Unlike previous years, the event was held virtually. Helsinki Education Week is organised jointly by the City of Helsinki Education Division and HundrED.