Shaking up Tech – a runaway success in 2018 – is expanding across Finland
On 10 October 2019, Aalto University, Tampere University and LUT University will host a coordinated Shaking Up Tech event, which aims to inspire young women to study technology after high school.
The first ever Shaking up Tech event took place last year and was a great hit. The event was fully booked in just over an hour and brought 200 high school students to Aalto University. Based on feedback, their interest in technology has grown significantly.
Now the Shaking up Tech event is expanding to University of Tampere and LUT University.
“The Shaking up Tech event will tangibly highlight various technological fields, which are one of the focus areas at our new university. The high school students will visit the Hervanta campus where they have a lot to see and experience,” says Planning Officer Päivi Mäkitalo.
The event will take place simultaneously at all three universities, and the structure of the event will also be the same at all the sites. The day will begin with speeches by women who work in the field of technology and a student panel, and continue after lunch with workshops and an event fair.
In last year’s Shaking up Tech event, Professor Pauliina Ilmonen from Aalto University enjoyed the good networking atmosphere from the podium.
"Last year, the versatility of the technology field was reflected in the speakers at the event. There are many different professions and career choices in the field of technology, whether you're a theorist or an implementer. It is important and great to see that there is a large number of young women interested in technology," Ilmonen says.
Professor and Director of the Centre of Excellence in Body-on-Chip Research Sciences Minna Kellomäki has already been confirmed as a speaker in Tampere.
"Events for high school students are important because there is only rather superficial information online. I will talk to the high school students about the activities of our multidisciplinary Centre of Excellence, which includes a wide range of experts in materials technology, imaging, computing and cell technology, as well as chemists, cell biologists and doctors," Kellomäki says.
Riina Salmimies, Dean of School of Engineering Science at LUT University, is pleased to be able to get involved in encouraging and inspiring young women to join the field of technology.
"The subject is hugely important and very current. Aalto university has done a great job in opening the way to sister events," Salmimies says.
In Finland, only about 20 % of students in the field of technology are female, and in some programmes only one in ten students is a female. There is, however, a growing need for technology experts in Finland and worldwide, and all interested should apply regardless of their gender. This can diversify the contents of technology, and then it can better serve the whole society.
If we can ignite the flame of interest in young women, we can truly influence the future for all of us.
"Technology is needed everywhere, whether it is to produce clean water here on our planet or to produce clean air on Mars. When it comes to educational and career choices, it is good to boldly tackle difficult subjects and always believe in your own ability to do anything," Salmimies says.
marja.niemi [at] aalto.fi
Tel. +358 50 430 2084
johanna.naukkarinen [at] lut.fi
Tel. +358 40 685 3134
paivi.makitalo [at] tuni.fi
Tel. +358 40 198 1488
Text: Tiina Aulanko-Jokirinne, Aalto University
Photographs: Mikko Raskinen, Aalto University