Pupils designed logos at Aalto University Junior workshop

Herttoniemenranta's fifth-graders unleashed their creativity
Logo, Aalto-yliopisto Juniorin kokoelma
Photo: Aalto University Junior

Did you know that Aalto University Junior is like a miniature of Aalto University?

‘We aim to make Aalto University Junior an easy-to-approach and accessible place for people of all ages. We teach art, science, technology and business to children, young people, families and teachers – to support teaching at school, to be a source of joy and enthusiasm. Our unit began operating in January 2018, so in May we’ll celebrate our 5th anniversary,’ says manager Veli-Matti Ikävalko.

Aalto University Junior organises functional study visits, remote workshops, events, theme weeks, campus visits, camps, lectures, clubs and everything that supports the interest and enthusiasm of children and young people towards Aalto University fields: technology, arts and business. Some of Junior's activities are carried out on the Otaniemi campus, some remotely.

Logo design at Herttoniemenranta school

The theme weeks launched during the coronavirus pandemic have also become part of the permanent activities of Aalto University Junior. The idea of the theme week is to offer one specific theme workshop several times during the same week to a specific target group. The workshop is planned to support the curriculum of the relevant grade.

‘The goal is to inspire especially those teachers who have not previously familiarised themselves with Junior's activities. Virtual implementation of the theme weeks makes it possible to have a large number of participants across Finland, and we've had good experiences with them,’ says Coordinator Pilvi Saaristo.

In early February, grade 5B of Herttoniemenranta school was able to participate in a logo design workshop. The workshop taught what logos are, what makes a logo unique and why companies want to stand out.

‘We want to teach children media literacy. The world is full of various signs, and we want to get children to think about their meanings and messages. A logo is a key part of a company's or product's brand and often gives a certain first impression. From the company's point of view, this first impression should evoke desired mental images of quality, for example,’ says Pilvi Saaristo.

The logo workshop began with a 15-minute joint introduction in Teams, after which the pupils worked in their own classroom under the direction of their own teacher Tuuli Auervuolle

‘It was nice to plan your own logo and think about what it should have. I made a five-angle black-and-white logo for a football club that does not exist yet. Many others designed logos for clothing brands,’ says pupil Jaakko Voutilainen.

Minttu Mäkiö, another pupil, made the logo for Kynsibussi with the letters KB, which offers dog nail cutting. ‘It was really fun to make the logo, but we didn't have enough time, only 2 hours. I would’ve liked to have more time to make the logo, it would’ve made it better,’ says Minttu.

The teacher Tuuli Auervuolle is satisfied with the workshop experience in their class. ‘It was wonderful to see how all the children started working on their own logo immediately after the introduction. Many started designing their own initials. Pupils' hobbies, such as ice hockey and football, were also the topic of the logo for several pupils. It was great to see, once again, how inventive children are!’

Veli-Matti Ikävalko from Aalto University Junior says that during the coronavirus pandemic, remote workshop models were developed in Junior to reach school groups despite restrictions. ‘Now these models are part of our normal operation. The number of participants in 2022 was a record number of 28,000 children, young people, teachers and parents. This year, our goal is to break the 30,000 limit. Everyone is welcome to join in,’ he says.

Herttoniemenrannan ala-asteen koulu, Helsinki
Pupils enjoying playtime between classes. Herttoniemenranta school located in South East Helsinki is a primary school of appr. 500 pupils. Photo: Terhi Ollikainen

Aalto University Junior

Aalto University Junior is art, science, technology and entrepreneurship for children, young people and teachers - to support teaching, personal joy and a source of enthusiasm.

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