The keys to a successful event – Submit an event proposal for the Helsinki Education Week!

Helsinki Education Week is an internationally unique event. The event programme is created by the real education experts – teachers and education professionals themselves. Submissions for event proposals are now open. Here are examples from last year for inspiration.

What kind of solutions strengthen learners’ experiences of active engagement and prepare them for the society of the future? Helsinki Education Week will be held from 1 to 5 November 2021. This year’s theme is Future Designers. The aim is to reinforce the future skills of children and young people.

“The event is an opportunity for teachers and caregivers to develop creative solutions and share innovative pedagogical practices in their role as the best experts on learning,” says head of development services Marjo Kyllönen at the City of Helsinki’s education division.

The event proposals should offer large or small workshops held with learners, colleagues and Helsinki residents, inspiring discussions on current topics, or network events for bringing together various parties interested in learning. Here are three inspirational tips from last year’s event.

The current coronavirus guidelines are followed in the organisation of the event week. The Helsinki metropolitan region has entered the community transmission phase of the coronavirus epidemic on 3 August 2021. In the light of the new epidemic situation, we recommend organising events in a way that can be carried out virtually. If the epidemic situation does not improve, it is not possible to host events at the venue.  

1. Make solving social problems exciting

“The most fun part was using my imagination and inventing something new,” said Matilda Happonen, who is in the third grade at Vattuniemi comprehensive school, after attending the Clean Energy workshop at last year’s Helsinki Education Week. Organised by Emer Beamer and Ina Concici, the workshop challenged children to come up with ideas for creative energy solutions and tackling the climate crisis. Matilda and her classmates proposed an idea for shoes that make use of kinetic energy. “These shoes could perhaps even be used to charge a mobile phone,” the students said.

2. Identifying and sharing skills

Do you know a colleague, learner or other person with a skill that could benefit others? Identifying strengths and sharing them is a key element of future skills. The participants in last year’s Helsinki Education Week learned about making origami, identifying misinformation and building learning platforms. Student at Taivallahti comprehensive school, Kasper Olin (11), who has more than three years of experience in making origami and has participated in the World Origami Marathon, held a one-hour online workshop in which he showed people of all ages how to make real Japanese origami with a normal piece of paper that can easily be found at home. The difference between fact and fiction was studied in a workshop held by Education Consultant Ilona Taimela and journalist Jessikka Aro, winner of the Bonnier journalism prize, for students aged 13 to 16 and upper secondary and vocational school students. Teachers specialising in digital pedagogy held a workshop for their colleagues in which they could create a user-friendly learning platform with Google and Office 365.

3. Low threshold for participation

Would you like to hold an event that is not tied to a strict schedule? Last year, two Swedish-speaking comprehensive schools, Månsas lågstadieskola and Kottby lågstadieskola, jointly held a physical education challenge in which students challenged each other on the schools’ Facebook pages to increase their physical activity. The challenge was open to both individuals and groups, and participation was not tied to a strict schedule. In the Nordisk Skolchatt (Nordic school chat) event, comprehensive school students had the opportunity to chat with other students in a foreign language in five-minute sessions. The event participants were divided into two groups of fourth, fifth and sixth graders, and seventh, eighth and ninth graders.

Excited about Helsinki Education Week? Anyone who submits a proposal for the event will also get to develop the idea during the autumn, so the proposals do not need to be finished ideas. Helsinki Education Week is organised as a hybrid event, which means that an event can be hosted either virtually or, if the coronavirus guidelines in effect during the event week allow, at the venue.

Event proposals should be submitted by 5 October 2021