HELSUS youth initiative is making an impact on society by growing interaction between high schools and university research in the field of sustainability. Widening the understanding and raising the curiosity towards more sustainable tomorrow among high school students is done with the newest cutting edge sustainability research in innovative future workshops. Workshops are hosted by sustainability researchers from the University of Helsinki.
Sustainability themes are relevant for every high school subject
HELSUS Youth shows that sustainability discussion is relevant to every subject in high schools. Sustainability themes are suitable topics in biology lessons but also math, physics, social sciences and language classes. The broad selection of different sustainability research topics, in the field of food, economy, environmental ethics, tourism, cities and energy is making it possible. Unique about this initiative is that since many of the researchers are multilingual, they can host workshops in different languages such as English, Finnish, Italian, German, Russian, Spanish, and Hindi. Multilingual workshops open ways for understanding sustainability in a cultural context and create circumstances where students can learn to use language in deeper real-life situations.
This fall couple of HELSUS Youth workshops have been already organized in high schools. The feedback gathered from students who participated in workshops was uplifting. Topics covered in workshops were seen engaging and inspiring discussion among students about the themes of sustainability. The structure of the workshop was liked among students because of its interactiveness. What was also highly valued was that the researcher was able to cover topics interestingly.
”Työpaja antoi pohtimisen aihetta. Keskustelu jatkui opiskelijoiden kanssa seuraavalla oppitunnilla.” -Workshop participant.
”Parasta oli, miten asiat kerrottiin ja opetettiin. Asiat jäivät hyvin mieleeni ja päälimmäiseksi jäi mieleen lihantuotanto jutut. Se sai ajattelemaan omaa ruokavaliota ja sitä, kuinka paljon lihaa tarvitsee syödä. Työpaja avasi silmiä ja laajensi näkökulmaa monessa asiassa.” -Workshop participant.
“Researcher was such an interactive person and I loved that they kept us on topic.” -Workshop participant
How the HELSUS Youth initiative was born
The founder of the initiative Angelina Korsunova got the idea when she was invited to host a workshop about the circular economy in high school. She saw a need for a network of researchers that could provide an easy way to communicate with high schools. Also, the enthusiasm of the students who participated motivated her to create this program. Since there is a wide representativity of different disciplines, cultures, and languages among the sustainability researchers at the University of Helsinki it has huge potential to inspire high school students. This initiative was the answer to the need for making multidisciplinary sustainability research more interesting and accessible to high school communities.
HELSUS Youth gives new possibilities to both sides
It is important for the HELSUS Youth initiative that inviting a researcher to host a workshop is made immediate and easy. Every researcher has their introduction video where they introduce themselves and in what topics they can cover. That way teachers can easily choose the researcher they think is the most relevant for the particular class. If you´re a teacher thinking of new ways to encourage your students to learn about sustainability get in touch with HELSUS Youth. Workshops can be organized both offline and online. This means that any school from any city can invite HELSUS researcher to visit them.
This is also a unique opportunity for researchers since it creates new encounters for both sides and extend impact of the research to new audiences that are in a key role for the future. If you are a researcher working with themes of sustainability and convinced that you could have something to give for this initiative get in touch.
If you are interested to join or invite a researcher to held a sustainability workshop in your high school check the videos and find contact details from the HELSUS webpage.