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Science and technology entertained three generations on Family Day

The Family Day event introduced hundreds of families to electrical engineering.
Aalto University / Scientist Pi's show / photo: Annamari Tolonen
The Family Day event brought hundreds of families to the School of Electrical Engineering.

Robot building, science theatre, virtual space voyages, test driving small and larger electric cars and numerous other wonders of electrical engineering delighted families during Aalto ELEC Family Day, organised on Saturday 14 September 2019 for the second time.

The event brought to Aalto University campus over 600 alumni, staff members from the School of Electrical Engineering, invited guests and family members.

Aalto University / Slot car race track / photo: Annamari Tolonen
Emil and Lauri generated electricity for racing cars by pedalling a bicycle.

Outi Elina Kansanen, Development Manager at the School of Electrical Engineering, arrived at the event with her father Niilo Kansanen, who graduated as Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Helsinki University of Technology, and with her eight-year-old daughter Elsa

'As a child, I heard many stories about my father's time as a technology student. I myself did my dissertation in mathematics at Helsinki University of Technology, whereas my father and brother have their degrees in electrical engineering. Now that I actually ended up at the School of Electrical Engineering, it was important for me to invite my father here. I am proud of our school and want to show my father and Elsa all the things we do around here,' Outi Elina explains.

The family was planning to test drive electric cars and take part in Aalto Junior’s Amazing Electricity workshop which offered an opportunity to test different ways of generating and consuming electricity. 

Aalto University / Ihmeellinen säkö workshop / photo: Annamari Tolonen
Outi Elina, Niilo and Elsa took part in the Amazing Electricity workshop, simulating different ways of generating and consuming electricity. In the photo, the disco light is powered by a solar panel.

The Family Day event gives children a chance to see and experience different things that can be accomplished through research. Researchers’ demos, such as the virtual trip to space, and different science workshops provide the children with a hands-on way of experiencing technology. At the same time, the adults get an opportunity to share their own expertise in a way that a child can understand.

'At the workshop, the children were in a hurry to try out generating electricity, and paid less attention to the instructors’ advice. However, I do recall the basics well, and thanks to good collaboration, Elsa and I managed to avoid any short-circuits,' said Niilo after the Amazing Electricity workshop.

'The afternoon went by almost too fast – we still had plenty of interesting things to see!'

Aalto University / A kid with a microscope / photo: Annamari Tolonen
Juho practiced using a microscope.
Aalto University / a kid driving a mini Tesla / photo: Annamari Tolonen
Both adults and children got to test drive an electric car! Here Oiva is driving a mini Tesla.
Aalto University / Avoimen tiedeteatterin esitys / photo: Annamari Tolonen
The topic of Avoin Tiedeteatteri's show was 'How does a Computer Think?'
Aalto University / Kids at the robot workshop / photo: Annamari Tolonen
Robots were programmed to go along tracks at the Robot drives workshop.
Aalto University / A child learning to pipette / photo: Annamari Tolonen
At the Pipeting Challenge workshop Elsa and her mother Hanna learned how to create different shades of green in sampler tubes.
Aalto University / Kids trying out a VR Space demo / photo: Annamari Tolonen
Children got on a virtual trip to space, guided by Professor Esa Kallio. The demo was one of the day's most popular activities.
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