Harjunrinteen koulu is one of three general secondary schools in Riihimäki. Riihimäki is a small town in Southern Finland about 60 km north of our capital Helsinki. It has about 28 000 inhabitants. In Harjunrinteen koulu there are 447 students and 42 teachers. The students are 12-16 years old and they go from 6th to 9th form at this school. The school is a public school and it follows the national curriculum as well as the local curriculum. Many of the students of our school come from an area whose inhabitants have lower income level than the average Finns. This part of Riihimäki can be considered as a partly disadvantaged area, which leads to a fact that Harjunrinteen koulu has more students who need special education and and various kinds of available social support. For that reason our school and staff have lot of experience about special needs students and dealing with learning difficulties. Robotics can play a part when helping student to learn. There are also some migrant students from outside European Union who need extra support in their language learning. At first they are being taught Finnish as a foreign language and then gradually adapted in our school system. Riihimäki has great reputation about having minimum amount of student who dropout secondary school. Almost every student leaving compulsory school will start next year at some secondary school. The role of the school’s organization at the project is to provide resources and to support a successful project. The Headmaster of Harjunrinne school has promised his full support and shown an interest in this kind of a project. Also Riihimäki as a municipality supports our school’s European contacts. Also Riihimäki municipal educational administration gives it full suport to teaching of robotics and international project related to it. Our school and its staff can contribute this Project a lot for many reasons. Teaching of robotics has very important status at municipility. Riihimäki was the first Finnis county with robotics curriculum. Curriculum was made by our teachers.
Our school has profiled itself as a leading school concerning pedagogics of Robotics. Our teachers has trained other teacher to start with robotics for example. We have also held National Competitions at VEX IQ robotics twice in FInnland and even at Estonia. It is fair to say that we are one of leading schools at this subject. Among other for example ministry of Education will visit to our school to see how robotics is taught. Our main motivation to start this project is to work alongside county’s strategy concentrating robotics, strenghetten our knowledge of robotics, make international connection especially for students, share experiences wiht partners about how to teach robotics. Key persons to run this project are Vesa Vanhanen and Reetta Viitanen. Ir these persons leave their post there is Sari Lahti, Sirpa Arkko and Sirpa Viilomaa who will carry on the Project.