Partner companies point way to top in science for Millennium Youth Campers

Application for the fifth international Millennium Youth Camp begins today. The camp, which is free of charge for the campers, will bring together next June 60 young people from around the world who are excited about the natural sciences, mathematics and technology. These gifted 16-19 year-olds will spend a week together working on scientific projects relating to sustainable development under the direction of experts, and will learn about Finnish innovations and research at companies and universities.

Company visits have been part of the camp programme right from the beginning, but this year companies will also be more actively involved, alongside experts from the universities, in thinking through the topics for the young people’s projects. Working together with companies will show those chosen for the camp in a very concrete way how science and technology play an important role in the success of companies. A common factor to the partner companies – Kemira, Neste Oil, Nokia, Rovio and UPM – is the high value they place on science and technology knowhow.

“We have succeeded in becoming the leading supplier of renewable fuels in the world and in launching four completely new products during the past five years, and this is largely due to our investment in R & D and technology,” points out Lars Peter Lindfors, Senior Vice President, Technology at Neste Oil.

The companies also benefit from the interaction with the young people.

Teemu Suila, Chief Operating Officer at Rovio, explains why his company decided to be a partner for the camp:

“It is important for us to be in direct contact with young people who are interested in the natural sciences and technology, and to encourage them to create something new and to learn with us. We can give the young people some valuable experience, but we feel that we also have something new and important to learn from the new generations.”

 Exciting experiences give motivation for studying

Interest in studying mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering has declined among young people around the world, despite the growing need for experts in these fields. This is also true in Finland, and much effort has gone into thinking up the most effective ways to motivate young people to study the sciences and engineering.

Rovio believes that the key to arousing more interest is to make studying more fun, and the company wishes to serve as a role model in this.

“For example our cooperation with NASA has aroused the interest of children and young people around the world in space in a completely new way. The Angry Birds Space game has also been used in teaching, and it is important for us that Angry Birds can be involved not only in entertainment but also in providing new learning experiences,” explains Rovio COO Teemu Suila.

Neste Oil’s Lindfors stresses the importance of doing something practical in learning:

“In my opinion, what people experience for themselves and those aha! occasions provide the biggest motivation. Science and technology have to take on visible form, closely related to their lives, if young people are to get excited about them. Cooperation between young people, research institutions and technology companies has a key role to play specifically in creating these personal experiences.”

Two-phase application process for camp

The 2014 Millennium Youth Camp will be held during 3 – 11 June 2014 in the Greater Helsinki area in Finland. All young people born in the years 1995–1998 from anywhere in the world may apply for the camp through the Finland’s Science Education Centre LUMA’s (University of Helsinki) online service.

Applicants choose their preferred topic area from the 10 different topic areas listed on the application form: applied mathematics, climate, ICT and digitalization, water, renewable natural resources, energy, bio-sciences and -technology, food sciences and technology, material sciences and technology, and urban planning.

Application for the first phase begins on 15 October and ends on 15 December. On 3 February 2014, 200 young people will be chosen from these applicants for the second phase. They will be given the task of drawing up a plan on their own for a project relating to the topics.

The names of the 60 participants chosen for the camp will be published on 17 March 2014. The participants will be chosen by a team of experts comprising representatives from Finnish universities and from Millennium Youth Camp partner companies.

A link to the application form and further information about the application process can be found on the Millennium Youth Camp website.

The main organizers of the Millennium Youth Camp are Technology Academy Finland, the Finnish Science Education Centre LUMA (University of Helsinki) and Aalto University. Numerous Finnish companies and organizations are also involved.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Maija Aksela, chairman of Millennium Youth Camp steering group

Finland’s Science Education Centre LUMA, University of Helsinki

maija.aksela(at), tel. +358 50 514 1450


Caroline Korhonen, Project Coordinator, Technology Academy Finland

caroline.korhonen(at), tel. +358 40 5569 999


Media contacts:

Riina Vänttinen, Communications Officer, Technology Academy Finland

riina.vanttinen(at), tel. +358 400 420 922


Millennium Youth Camp website:

Millennium Youth Camp on Facebook

MyScience online magazine website:

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