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EventsMillennium Youth Camp - Dec 14, 2015

Together We Are More

The Millennium Youth Camp Anniversary event was organised on the 21st of November at the Aalto Design Factory. With participants from all around the world – in person and via the live stream – the purpose was to bring all MYC ­generations together and share their life-changing experiences.

MYC Anniversary Event Collage. Photo: Maija Aksela

MYC Anniversary Event Collage. Photo: Maija Aksela

The day began with the Amazing Race of Science familiar to all campers. Composed of 10 different tasks, campers, guides, experts and organisers were divided in groups of 3. The tasks varied from writing a poem to Michael Grätzel, the Millennium Technology Prize Winner of 2010, to solving a quote hidden into a stereogram; and were hidden all throughout the maze of special rooms and spaces that are the Design Factory of Aalto University.

Nothing like the Amazing Race of Science

The Amazing Race of Science was as fun as at it was during the camp: We got to run around solving tasks with our friends from various generations.
In my group were three people:­ two Finns and an Estonian who came to Helsinki by ferry. Other groups also included the head of the camp, Prof. Maija Aksela and Biosciences expert Kirmo Wartiovaara.

Of the many tasks, organised and flawlessly run by Nidia Obscura, my favourite was to sing and dance to one of the camp songs. My team decided to sing Käyn Ahon Laitaa, a Finnish song about summer without worries.

Photo Time!

An important part of every camp has been the many photos we took, so obviously one of the tasks was to take a picture – but not just any, a selfie with as many devices as possible. And what would be more fun than building a structure with candies without talking!

Having fun and doing science is a good combination and the result is also usually quite brilliant. The saying that the MYC is the home of the future Millennium Technology Prize winners should not be forgotten. The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every other year since 2004 to great innovators, whose inventions have changed our lives for the better. The Prize is Finland’s tribute to innovators who are creating a better life for us and for our planet. The prize is worth one million euros at minimum.

MYC Anniversary Event Amazing Race. Photo: Yuval Novik
MYC Anniversary Event Amazing Race. Photo: Yuval Novik

MYC Anniversary Event Candy Castle. Photo: Yuval Novik
MYC Anniversary Event Candy Castle. Photo: Yuval Novik

“It’s good to have high ­quality competition. It helps drive research forward at a faster pace.” -Shuji Nakamura, Millennium Technology Prize winner of 2006

The many interesting presentations
After the race we gathered to hear presentations by MYC alumni and organisers:

Yuval Novik, MYC alumnus of 2014, told us about tracking the source code of life, DNA, to find a cure for genetic diseases. Carried out at the Biomedicum Stem Cell Centre of the University of Helsinki, they’re continuing the camp’s Bioscience group’s project guided by expert prof. Kirmo Wartiovaara. Using genetic engineering to treat stem cells of patients with Sickle Cell Anaemia, they’re aiming for a simple vaccine-like injection that could provide a cure.

Nidia Obsura, MYC alumna of 2013, presented her thesis’s research on how to transform the genome assembly problem from a highly complex problem into one solvable with high precision using graph theory. Using computer algorithms to solve biological problems, a field called Bioinformatics, they’re trying to create a more efficient, and more accurate DNA sequencing at the University of Helsinki’s department of computer science.

MYC Anniversary Event Sakari Tolppanen Presentation. Photo: Juan Cruz Landoni
MYC Anniversary Event, Sakari Tolppanen Presentation. Photo: Juan Cruz Landoni

Dr. Sakari Tolppanen of the University of Helsinki as well, one of the organisers of the camp, gave us an insight into how a better world can be created with education. By encouraging youth all around the world to find their inner wonderer and get interested and active in science, we could make the next generation the one to take action on global warming and sustainability.

We also got to hear about a new programme by Technology Academy Finland (TAF), one of the MYC’s organising companies, called “Teknoloikka”. Developed for young people who are not yet sure what to do after high school, the purpose of the programme is to present the diversity of the technology field and help discover passions in the the wonderful field of technology and innovation.

More importantly than the presentations, the focus of the day was to bring back all the beautiful memories from all camp generations, to be shared with out MYC family.
Pictures, videos and lovely greetings from all around the world were sent by campers, assembled into a touching presentation by the “mother of the camp”, Prof. Maija Aksela from the University of Helsinki. Reading the greetings and seeing the pictures from the camp brought many good memories to mind and made us all miss our brilliant MYC friends.

MYC Anniversary Event Maija Aksela Presentation. Photo: Juan Cruz Landoni
MYC Anniversary Event, Maija Aksela’s Presentation. Photo: Yuval Novik

The event was live-streamed online for all our international friends to watch and join in via chat. That was one important way to share memories, which will accompany us for the rest of our lives.
For example, my MYC team, also know as Triple C’s for Climate Change, is still going strong and once in a while we have Skype calls, so that we are able to be in touch and carry our camp’s team’s spirit where ever we go.

MYC Anniversary Event Live Stream. Photo: Juan Cruz Landoni
MYC Anniversary Event Live Stream. Photo: Juan Cruz Landoni

After the live-steam connection was closed, the real party begun.
MYC is the home of the future Millennium Technology Prize Winners, but it is also a place where likeminded youth across the world gather together to create a better tomorrow. During the MYC you not only gain a lot of new life­long friends, but also get a chance to meet Finnish experts and create connections all around the world. So far there have been over 200 MYCampers, which means there are “MYC Ambassadors” in over 100 countries, who are spreading the MYC spirit of global advancement through science and technology each by their own ways. Some of the ambassadors want to change the world through politics with a good science background while some try to solve global problems through science. Together we are more!

_A heartily thanks to Juan Cruz Landoni, MYC alumnus of 2013, for organising the event and making this special day happen. A big thanks also to all the sponsors, LUMA Centre Finland, Aalto University and TAF

Vilma Kangasaho Vilma Kangasaho is a Millennium Youth Camp Alumni studying meteorology at the University of Helsinki. She is interested in climate change and enjoys sports.