More than 25 % of Finnish high schools have already utilized the Meet a Researcher online service run by the Young Academy Finland. The feedback from educators from years 2020-2021 was 95 % positive. Now it has been granted a further two years of funding.
In January 2022, the Ministry of Culture and Education granted additional funding for the service. The service was launched three years ago by the multidisciplinary science community, Young Academy Finland, in co-operation with the Finnish National Agency for Education, Ministry of Culture and Education, and the Academy of Finland. Its popularity has grown steadily throughout its existence, and the service reached approximately 10 000 students in 2021 alone. Through researcher visits, students have delved into various topics, such as particle physics, circular economy, criminology, environmental philosophy, glacier research, development studies, and sexual health. Out of 143 feedback forms from educators from 2021-2021, 95 % were unequivocally positive.
The service brings science and research to schools. Through the service, the teacher can apply to have a researcher support their lesson and deepen learning on the course topic. Research visits are conducted via video call services, as inspired by the American Skype a Scientist service.
Meet a Researcher has a constantly growing pool of more than 350 individual researchers and research groups from a wide range of disciplines. This free-of-charge service is accessible anywhere in Finland throughout the year. Educators speak highly of this service due to its ease of use and accessibility, and several teachers have returned to use the service over and over again.
“This service is an excellent addition to my teaching in all my subjects. It would normally be hard to get such visits to the remote provinces.”
“This service is a salvation for us teachers.”
“I wouldn’t know how to improve the service!”
“I’m really grateful for this service, so even those of us in more remote places can easily get a glimpse into the world of science.”
“Amazing, soaringly good visitor; he was so good at answering the students’ questions.”
The project has also produced a series of science videos viewed more than 12,500 times via the Young Academy Finland YouTube channel.