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Riihimäki and Robotics Campus to collaborate with Google for Education

30.1.2024 news Robotics

A plastic robot in the hands of an adult. Three children sitting around the adult.

The City of Riihimäki, the Riihimäki Robotics Campus, and Google for Education are collaborating to enable the education of children studying in the shadow of war in Ukraine, and to facilitate the implementation of Ukrainian school reform.

The collaboration has solid foundations, as the robotics education in Riihimäki follows the same pedagogical model that is at the heart of The New Ukrainian School, the Ukrainian comprehensive school education reform.

Riihimäki joins a digital learning network

The City of Riihimäki is joining a network of Digital Learning Centers created by Google, to offer remote teaching to teachers and students in Ukraine using Google Classroom tools. The digital learning network will also facilitate classroom teaching for teachers who have fled Ukraine to Riihimäki.

The first Digital Learning Center based on Google’s concept will open in Chernihiv, Ukraine on 1 February 2024 and collaborate with the City of Riihimäki. Digital Learning Center project is locally implemented by savED – a Ukrainian charity foundation that restores access to education in war-affected communities. Across Ukraine, there are already over fifty physical spaces for children opened by savED together with other partners.

“We are very proud of the fact that Google Education has chosen the City of Riihimäki as the first city in Northern Europe to kick off collaboration with Digital Learning Centers. Our strong robotics education skills and knowledge have been recognised by Google as a benefit for collaboration,” says Jari Lausvaara, head of the local education and welfare department in Riihimäki.

Teachers in Riihimäki have extensive experience in electronic learning environments and their pedagogical uses.

An online connection to Ukrainian teachers and pupils

In Riihimäki, project participants will include Finnish and Ukrainian teachers together with a group of 4th grade pupils from Uramo Primary School. In Chernihiv, pupils from the same year group will attend the lessons. Altogether, the digital learning network team will include approx. 12 people.

The project’s facilities are located at Uramo School. The school already has all the necessary resources needed by the learning network, such as audiovisual devices, remote connections, and Google Classroom tools. The learning network can also be accessed from Riihimäki’s administrative facilities at Virastokeskus Veturi and from Harjurinne School’s robotics classroom.

In the learning network, Finnish teachers will work with Ukrainian teachers who have fled the war to Riihimäki, testing and developing pedagogical uses of remote teaching tools. Lessons are planned to be taking place monthly at the start of the project, and focus on the use of digital devices and natural science subjects. Later on, teaching focus will gradually transition to robotics.

Riihimäki is the capital of robotics in Finland

Riihimäki is the only city in Finland to offer curriculum-based robotics education for every child and young person from early years education all the way to the end of general upper secondary school. Young people can continue their robotics education in Riihimäki both at vocational and higher educational institutions, providing technology companies with a skilled and competent workforce.

Robotics skills and competences are among the key themes in Riihimäki’s city strategy. Riihimäki has created a diverse environment for robotics education and collaboration, to enable the city to thrive in a competitive urban environment.

The City of Riihimäki and the Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) are developing a robotics skills and innovation center as part of the Robotics Campus – Scale up! project. The project is part-funded by the Regional Council of Häme from national funding allocated for regional development.

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