Our project is now completed. SENsationalSTEM has been an innovative pilot programme, which helped to identify how SEN-students can turn their special needs into useful entrepreneurial skills.
In this spirit, for example, Estonian students Mirjam Elessawi and Karl Theodor Grigor have made their first pre-production design for their own t-shirt (see image below).
On behalf of the project staff, we thank our sponsor Interreg Central Baltic programme for making this possible. Many thanks to the partners from Estonian Chamber of Disabled People, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences; Sustento; Eesti Agrenska Fond for their hard work, along with all the schools, students, teachers and mentors!
A comprehensive overview of the planned and achieved goals can be found in a report prepared by our colleagues from Haaga-Helia.
Well done, everybody!
Fifth and final staff and steering group meeting in Tallinn, Estonia
Summer is here, and it’s a great time to travel and meet old and new friends. In this spirit, this week on the 8th and 9th of June, we gathered once again for our SENsationalSTEM project 5th and final staff and steering group meeting in Tallinn.
With all hands on deck, project partners from Estonia, Latvia and Finland shared their view on how the project had progressed for them, as well as coordinated the wrapping up of the few remaining tasks for the last few months.
Our Haaga-Helia partners have just been to Dijon, France this May, where they presented our project. They gave us an overview on project curriculum and feedback from the entrepreneurship education conference they visited.
When the project is finally concluded, it would not be a full stop, but rather a new beginning as we can seeSENsationalSTEM has inspired a lot of great initiatives.
Special thanks to our partners and supporters who travelled to Tallinn for this special meeting. Have a wonderful summer, everyone!
The Grand Finale of our project is finally here! After more than a dozen of offline, online and hybrid events our SEN student teams have come so far in their STEM projects that we feel comfortable officially estimating their achievements. As we mentioned before - we had to choose from a very close competition of good and even better ideas.
The students shared their business pitches during our online final meet on May 3rd. Then our jury of mentors and project staff had long and passionate discussion which resulted in ten following awards:
🤝Best teamwork: REHOME
👩🏫Joy of learning & Best STEM idea: KENGA
🚀Best innovation: BE FOOD & PLAIN SPOKEN
🧑🎨Most creative business idea: OCTOARTS
🦉Best logo: OWL'S NEST
🗣Best pitch and written presentation: HEALTHIER
☘️Most environmentally friendly business idea: SAFE-FASH (ECO-LIIKUNTA) 🧘Most socially responsible business idea: OWL'S NEST
🔥Most active participation: KARM DISAIN
🏆Grand Prix: KENGA
We have successfully learned and shared for almost two years and grown together with our business ideas. Some of them, by the way, you are definitely going to hear about later down the road, so stay tuned with us! From the SENsationalSTEM staff, congratulations to all finalists and good luck!
April 29th. This Monday and Tuesday, teachers and mentors from Finland, Estonia and Latvia gathered for the 3rd face-to-face student teams meeting in Jurmala and Riga.
We used these precious 2 days of live discussions to further clarify business ideas and strengthen bonds among the students.
Altogether 60 participants presented 6 business, all of which are aimed at solving societal problems and improving the livelihoods of people. Next, we will meet online on the 3rd of May where all companies will present the fruits of their work. We will evaluate them to see which group has been best in each category. Although already now we can safely say that we have only good and very good business ideas!
SEN informational fair at Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre
March 10: Members of the SENsationalSTEM staff from Estonian Chamber of People with Disabilities as well as students and mentors from Estonia organised a workshop at the SEN informational fair. As our project draws to a close, we are reflecting together on developing entrepreneurship as strategy to empower SEN students.
Winter meet 2022
On February 9th 2022 all of our SENSationalSTEM participants, including students, teachers, mentors and project staff joined a virtual roundatble.
The aim of the event was to develop each business idea further and focus on learning, how to pitch your idea. After introduction, student teams worked with the help of mentors to further develop their business plans and presented them to each other.
Our students will continue developing their products services across Estonia, Latvia and Finland throughout the 1st half of 2022.
Final project year kick-off
We hope you had a good start of 2022!
Our steering group and project staff have met online and in-person in Estonia, Latvia and Finland, to finalize project activities for 2022.
Holiday greetings from the project staff
First in-person International Teamwork on business ideas in Helsinki
Our Estonian team has crossed the Gulf of Finland and arrived safely at Haaga-Helia! Between November 15th and 16th we had our first in-person International Teamwork on business ideas in Helsinki. The spirit of SENsationalSTEM is stronger than ever, and everybody was excited to step out of the online space and continue working on our business plans face to face.
Autumn Bootcamp in Southern Estonia
After a tour of the Eesti Agrenska Fond's historical building, SENsationalSTEM students from Estonia began workshops with mentors to further enhance their business ideas.
After many online meetings and preparation, Estonian participants finally enjoyed talking face to face and learning together about social entrepreneurship.
Steering group meeting, Tuesday 17.8.2021
After the intense staff meeting, the steering group gathered online and in person to reflect on the past, present and future of the project. Using the chance to talk to each other in a half-formal setting, staff members and experts reviewed SENsationalSTEM students' business ideas and discussed challenges in implementing the project.
JA Junior Achievement alumni Jasmiina Kolehmainen from Puine presented her success story. It proves that young people have valuable entrepreneurial ideas, and given the right support and conditions, can create competitive businesses.
Project staff meeting, Monday 16.8.2021
SENsationalSTEM is getting back up to speed after a summer break! Under the current circumstances, we kicked off staff meetings with an energetic hybrid conference.
President, CEO of Haaga-Helia Teemu Kokko welcomed the everybody and shared the latest updates from Finland. Meelis Joost and Tarja Römer-Paakkanen discussed the boot camp. Last but not least, the team was joined by representatives from Junior Achievement Finland, who are looking forward to having SENsationalSTEM students at the JA Competition ”Uskalla yrittää” in Spring 2022.
SPRING Meet for Students, Teachers and Mentors via Zoom
11 international student teams presented their corse business ideas to teachers and mentors. Their ideas range from reducing loneliness of older people to delivery of home-made food by robots, to beauty products.
Mentors from Estonia, Latvia and Finland were impressed and are looking forward to consulting their teams. They will help them grow and see opportunities for expansion before the next big meeting.
Thank you all and enjoy your sunny summer vacation! We will see you in the autumn!
Mentor training on May 5th via Zoom
On 5th of May, all of our project mentors gathered for the first time to attend mentor training. Practical presentations and discussions took place between mentors from Latvia, Estonia and Finland. We are now looking forward to the virtual Spring meet session, where students teams, who have been working with their business ideas since February, will present their achievements.
SENsationalSTEM START Camp on February 15 in Microsoft Teams
On February 15, over 80 students with special educational needs and their teachers from Estonia, Finland and Latvia gathered online to learn about entrepreneurship. The event, called START Camp, was the kickoff for the SENsationalSTEM project where students find their strengths and empower themselves through entrepreneurship. START Camp helped participants get acquainted with each other and start learning about business.
- Press release: SENsationalSTEM START Camp on February 15 in Microsoft Teams
- Student teams' spirit animals
Project 2nd steering group meeting 08–09 December 2020 via Zoom
SENsationalSTEM project held its 2nd steering group meeting, coordinated by our Latvian partner SUSTENTO. Feedback from teachers training was presented, general issues of the implementation and reporting were analyzed. Despite difficult COVID-19 restrictions, the project has been able to recruit participants remotely and conduct productive virtual meetings. Moreover, SUSTENTO invited the start-up company Catchbox to present their work, a very interesting addition to our meeting. We hope that by the time of the implementation of the project participants will be able to also meet face to face. Take a look at the programme and other materials of the event:
Teacher training 23–24 November 2020 via Zoom
Project partner Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki is in charge for teacher training. Representatives of 15 schools from Finland, Estonia and Latvia will be participating in the virtual training, as a physical event could not be organized due to COVID-19. Take a look at the programme and other materials of the event.
- Press release: Teachers in Latvia, Finland and Estonia acquire skills to make students with special educational needs
Project 1st steering group meeting 26–27 August 2020 in Tallinn
SENsationalSTEM project held its 1st steering group meeting at the premises of Lead partner EPIKoda in Tallinn. Most guest were present, some were additionally connected via Zoom. During 2 days, useful discussions took place, the project aims became clearer and it was as well the first meeting where partners got to meet each other so all partners were having a representative attending. Take a look at the programme and other materials of the event: