The Pohjois-Tapiola Upper Secondary School, which moved to the Otaniemi campus in August, introduced its partners to its light, new premises at an open day. The students and teachers entertained the guests together.
The sound of a bicycle filled the air when guests started flowing into the new premises of the Upper Secondary School. The bicycle was used in a demo organised by technology course students with their maths and physics teacher Matti Heikkinen. The technology course and many other courses offered by the school are also open to students from other upper secondary schools in Espoo.
Rasmus Nieminen, a second-year student at the Pohjois-Tapiola School, is pedalling vigorously to make the power curve on the computer screen rise as high as possible.
Project Director Marika Paakkala (right) and Entrepreneurship Coordinator Kaisa Ahonen from the Aalto Start-Up Center visit their new neighbour operating in the same building. Cooperation on entrepreneurship has already been started. Teacher Matti Heikkinen (left) presents the bicycle’s power meter with his students while Rasmus Nieminen pedals away.
At the same time, Tomi Kotiluoto, vice chairperson of the student club, is receiving guests and expertly showing them the light and spacious premises. The Pohjois-Tapiola Upper Secondary School moved to Open Innovation House at the beginning of the semester. The idea is to work even more closely with Aalto University than before.
'We have more glass walls than the average school. They bring in light and make everything look more spacious. We've been very happy with the new premises,' Tomi says to Tuija Pulkkinen, Vice President of Aalto University and one of the guests.
According to Pulkkinen, the Pohjois-Tapiola Upper Secondary School has succeeded in adapting its operations to the premises available. The Open Innovation House, owned by Aalto University Campus & Real Estate, promotes the natural coming together of people and ideas and creates new collaborative and operating models. The new neighbours of the School include Aalto’s School of Electrical Engineering and Start-Up Center, and EIT Digital, a community of European Institute of Innovation & Technology.
'The bulk of the budget should be used on the school’s operations – people, learning and teaching – not on the walls and their maintenance,' she says.
Vice President Tuija Pulkkinen of Aalto University (left), Principal Sinikka Luoma-Mattila and student Tomi Kotiluoto of Pohjois-Tapiola Upper Secondary School and Director of Education Kaisu Toivonen of City of Espoo have plenty to talk about in front of the school’s green wall.
Director of Education at the City of Espoo, Kaisu Toivonen arrived before the other guests, to experience the atmosphere of the school.
'It feels calm and motivational. Some of the lessons are given in the other premises of the campus, anyway,' Toivonen says.
Students have found it easy to move around the various spaces in the campus area. They were well prepared though: they published their own survival guide to the new premises before the move.
At the open day, guests could view the teaching through the glass walls and even join the classes.
This new, open way of working is characteristic of both Upper Secondary Schools operating at the Aalto University Campus, Pohjois-Tapiola and Haukilahti. The Pohjois-Tapiola Upper Secondary School has already started cooperation with the Aalto Start-Up Center, located in the same building. Early next year, the students will be able to take some of the university courses available at the campus.
'We’ve been planning our cooperation during the autumn. In January, the students will be able to take an introductory course in Chinese and a course in dialectics as part of their upper secondary school courses,' says Principal Sinikka Luoma-Mattila.
Photos: Kimmo Räisänen