Shoes that can charge your mobile phone – Helsinki Education Week inspired and engaged many!

In the first week of November, Helsinki Education Week brought together people interested in education from all around the world. The event week offered workshops, discussion sessions, networking events and opportunities to learn more about various education innovations and learning environments. In the Clean Energy Challenge workshop, Helsinki students reflected on how they could charge their mobile phones with the help of their shoes, among other things.

The event week offered 108 virtual events, which all together received more than 2100 registrations. One event during the week was the Clean Energy Challenge workshop, where the students came up with new ideas for innovations in energy. Student participation, innovation and creativity was central to the workshop. 

“The best thing was that we could use our imagination and invent new things”, says Matilda Happonen, third-grader at Vattuniemi Primary School. The enthusiasm was evident when the students designed, for example, electric airplanes, food robots and wind powered cars. One group developed special kinds of shoes and fabrics that could harvest kinetic energy. “With these, you could perhaps even charge your mobile phone”, the students reflected. 

The workshop, organised by education innovators Emer Beamer and Ina Concic from the Netherlands, was delivered in English. “It wasn’t quite the easiest thing in the world, but I understood the big picture”, says Matilda. Classmate Casper Jutila continues: “They spoke English clearly and it was comprehensible”. 

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

“Helsinki Education Week is an important celebration of doing and learning things together. It highlights the quality of the everyday work and activities, learning and teaching in our schools, educational institutions and daycare centres. The events of the week emphasise success, best practices and creative solutions. Many of our stakeholders also presented interesting solutions to support learning”, says Marjo Kyllönen, Head of Development Services at the City of Helsinki’s Education Division.  

“Helsinki Education Week is intended for educators, learners and guardians. The event week provided not only tips and tools for practical work, but also opportunities to exchange experiences, learn from each other and network. Furthermore, collaboration with international partners enabled interaction with education developers from all around the world”, Marjo Kyllönen continues. 

One hundred global education innovations 

Helsinki Education Week coincided with the HundrED Innovation Summit. The Summit included the Global Collection 2021 event, which presented 100 global innovations in K12 education. The purpose of these innovations is to develop and reform education on a global scale. 

This year, over half of the 100 selected innovations focus on developing social and emotional skills. Five Finnish innovations are also highlighted in the collection: Arkki, HEI Schools, Hello Ruby, Kide Science and School Day Wellbeing.  

In 2020, Helsinki Education Week was organised for the third time. Unlike previous years, the programme was held entirely online. Helsinki Education Week is organised by the City of Helsinki’s Education Division in collaboration with HundrED