The This works! technology education project will be donated to all the first graders in the world and their teachers
This works! is a seven-week multidisciplinary learning programme in which first graders get to solve mathematical problems and build a moving machine, all under the guidance of a set of fictional characters. The project will increase children’s understanding of technology and everything you can do with technology. It will also develop creative problem-solving skills and encourage children to design and plan things by themselves.
“In the future, major global challenges will be solved together, by people all across the globe, using technological expertise – it’s therefore important that all first graders in the world gain an understanding of technology and what it can achieve. Even the best teachers need workable materials for teaching,” says Leena Pöntynen, Director of Education at Technology Industries of Finland.
Fun Academy, which is founded by Peter Vesterbacka, has given permission for This works! to use the animated characters they developed for use in science education (togeher with NASA). Fun Academy will be introducing Technology Industries of Finland’s donation to the rest of the world on a non-profit basis.
“This Works! is an excellent example of the kind of joint activities that we need both in Finland and abroad. It’s a programme developed by teachers for teachers, enabled by the entire technology industry. By working together, first graders will learn that they are capable of doing anything,” says Peter Vesterbacka.
The project has already attracted a lot of interest in, for example, Africa. The goal is to find organisations in all countries that have the ability to inspire as many first graders as possible – and their teachers – to take part in the technology project. The team is currently preparing a project to translate the learning materials into Swahili and Spanish.
The learning package is easily adaptable and suitable for different kinds of schools all across the world – the activities can be included in the regular school day or be arranged as evening or weekend courses.
The impact of the coronavirus in many countries has been reflected in high demand for distance learning solutions. All of the materials in the This works! project include guidelines on how to implement the programme as either a distance learning project or as training for distance learning in contact teaching activities. There has already been a great deal of interest in the English-language version of This works! in places such as the US and Trinidad and Tobago, which is currently considering how to distribute the learning materials to students’ homes.
For further information, please contact:
- See a video where Olli-Pekka Heinonen (Secretary General, The National Board of Education in Finland), Peter Vesterbacka (Founder of Fun Academy, former mighty eagle of Rovio) and Leena Pöntynen (Director of Education, Technology Industries of Finland) discuss the project - and why the world needs it.