Geopiste: Finnish Resource Centre for Geography Education
Geopiste provides support for geography teachers, primary school teachers, students who graduate with a degree in education, and other people interested in geography education. Geopiste also provides engaging activities such as clubs and summer camps for children and young people.
The most important goal of Geopiste is to motivate and inspire pupils in the different topics of geography. The primary channel to accomplish this is through geography teachers, who are the main target group.
Geopiste provides a link between biology teachers and pupils in schools and the scientists working at the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki. An important activity is to offer professional development courses for teachers and engaging hands-on workshops for pupils. In addition, Geopiste organises science camps, school visits, clubs and other geography-related events at the University of Helsinki.
The dissemination of activities is done via the national STEM education portal www.luma.fi, Geopiste's Facebook profile, news updates to the e-mail lists of Finnish geography teachers, and co-operation with the Finnish Association of Biology and Geography Teachers BMOL
Coordinator: LUMA Centre of the University of Helsinki, http://www.helsinki.fi/luma/english/
Target groups: primary school students, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers
Topic: Earth science, Geology
Start year: 2007
Contact person: Markus Jylhä, markus.jylha (at) helsinki.fi
Geopiste gathers information and research reports on geography education and geography education research in Finland. This information, including masters' theses in geography education completed at the University of Helsinki, is also available on the website.
Continued professional development and support:
Geopiste organises continued professional development courses and training which cover new teaching methods utilising modern techniques, including geoinformatics.
Training is available both online and as contact training. Course materials, videos and resources are open access and shared online. Geopiste also gives direct support via e-mail for teachers with specific questions or concerns.
Equipment for geoinformatic teaching:
Teachers can borrow equipment from Geopiste. The available equipment includes gps-receivers, digital thermometers, sound level meters, distance detectors, soil samplers and water quality analysers. The loans are free of charge and include training in the appropriate use of the equipment.
Visits, clubs and summer camps:
Geopiste welcomes school groups with their teachers to visit the Faculty of Geosciences and Geography. A visiting programme is constructed depending on the interests of the group and the available time. Usually these visits include a lecture and a hands-on part, where students can try out geoinformatic exercises in a computer lab.
For elementary school children Geopiste organises summer camps focused on different topics of geography.
Online teaching material:
Geopiste produces teaching material and gathers useful online resources for geography teachers. All the material can be freely accessed on the website of the project.