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Millennium Youth CampMYC News - Jun 07, 2014

Aalto Experiences

The goal on the fourth day of the Millennium Youth Camp 2014 was to gather as many experiences as possible on the Aalto University campus in Espoo. Curiosity and wonder set the stage for learning about science in creative spaces.

Photo: Nelly Heiskanen.

The Aalto Design Factory is a place where ideas spring to life. What to do with an idea? Make it tangible!

The Design Factory turned out to be the coolest possible definition of a creative space. The philosophy of the place started with people and top priorities were to have fun and to learn every day.

“Have an idea? Go ahead, make it tangible and while you’re at it, make a prototype!”


Brainstorming at the Design Factory in a room filled with fatboys. Photo: Nelly Heiskanen.

Everyone is welcome to show up at the Design Factory with an idea and make it tangible: build, draw, paint, craft, tune and share their knowledge and experiences. Supplies, tools and support are readily available for the community.

Eager Millennium Youth campers explored with delight and left their marks: one task was to craft or draw something that describes their team.

Incredible acoustics and cryolab classics

One of the visits was to the acoustics laboratory in the Aalto School of Electric Engineering where researchers study sound and signaling with unique equipment the campers got to try out.


The echoless room at the Acustics laboratory. Photo: Maija Pollari.

It was one of the most bizarre spaces most of us had ever been in. The echoless room was a strange experience to the eyes and especially to the ears: a room completely covered with sound-absorbing cones of foam. Even the floor was replaced by a wire netting to eliminate all surfaces that might reflect sound.

And then we stood quiet end listened to the sounds of silence.

At the OV Lounasmaa laboratories the campers learned about new methods in rain imaging research and what “cold temperatures” mean in this particular laboratory that holds the world record of the coldest temperature humans have achieved: 0. 000 000 001 K.


Lidia Luque experimenting with liquid nitrogen at the low temperature laboratory. Photo: Maija Pollari.

After intense science it was time for the fun: levitating magnets, dipping balloons and cooking marshmallows in liquid nitrogen and other favorites of the cryolab!

The main organizers of Millennium Youth Camp are the LUMA centre at the University of Helsinki, Technology Academy Finland and Aalto University.

Who are the Millennium Youth Campers? Read the group introductions from Millennium Youth Camp profiles. Find out what’s going on at the camp from camp news in MyScience, check out awesome photos in Flickr and watch videos in Vimeo

Maija Pollari is a science journalist whose background is in molecular biology research. She enjoys flamenco dancing, reading, and roleplaying adventures.