One thousand student visitors to Lumarts
LUMA Centre at Aalto University began operating in 2013. The activities inspire children and young people to study and have an interest in mathematics, natural sciences, information technology and technology. Students can visit the Lumarts laboratory, where the visits emphasise practical tasks in these subjects.
In May, Lumarts hosted its 1 000th visitor of the spring. The visitor record will be broken this year.
‘We expect to have a total of 1 200 study visits this spring, which is the same as we had all last year,‘ says Project Manager Pirjo Putila with pleasure. Students have come from as far away as Muhos.
High school students as detectives
The study visits also provide the opportunity to increase the awareness that schoolchildren of all different ages have concerning natural sciences and mathematical subjects. In many cases, the laboratory also makes it possible to do things that can't be done at the school.
During a May visit, a group of high school students from Lauttasaari Coeducational School eagerly tried on white lab coats before the start of their visit. Just like in real laboratory conditions, lab coats are donned outside the lab before getting down to work. This time the Lauttasaari, students were accompanied by international students from a German sister school in Wuppertal.
‘I try to bring all my student groups here if it is at all possible,‘ says Teacher Elina Rautiainen-Heinonen. The visits have been beneficial and interesting in every way.
Today's theme was chemistry and a criminal laboratory, including examining hair samples under a microscope and fingerprints.
The high school students and their German guests worked enthusiastically on the three different assignments. The students pressed their thumbs onto the surface of glass sprinkled with fingerprint powder and then collected the prints of the entire group onto a single sheet of paper.
The second task involved examining hairs under a microscope, while in the third the students used a luminol solvent to illuminate 'bloodstains'. The light effect obtained in the last assignment inspired delighted reactions from behind the protective glass.
Enthusiastic comments along the lines of 'Hey, this really works', were heard from the group when the solvent revealed blood residues in the stains.
The ideas and enthusiasm for science gained during the study visits are a great example of successful LUMA activities at their best.
LUMA Centre at Aalto University Otaniemi
LUMA Centre is a part of LUMA Centre Finland and aims to support and advance studies of mathematics, natural sciences and technology at all levels of school and to increase young people's interest in those areas.
LUMA Centre offers high-quality courses for students at upper secondary school. The courses in mathematics, chemistry, geology, and astronomy, for instance, are taught by the university's teachers and professors.
More information luma.aalto.fi