European Heritage Days

Journées européennes du patrimoine
Cultural Heritage-Makers Competition Inspires Finnish Youth for New Heritage Stories

As a part of the Finish European Heritage Days programme for 2015, Cultural Heritage-makers competition was designed to motivate young people to actively explore industrial and technical heritage. Opened for all Finish citizens born after 1997, the competition was focused on encouraging day care centres, educational institutions, student groups and other youth communities to participate in the celebration of the shared European heritage.

To join the competition, the candidates were required to upload their presentations of a particular product to the European Heritage Days portal. The winners should be announced in December and the 500 euros prize will be awarded in January, when the next European Heritage Days are launched. By uploading their presentations, students become a part of the mission that supports cultural identities of children and young people, while promoting cultural, environmental and sustainability education.

One of the creative Cultural Heritage-makers projects is shared on this blog and outlines a story that is a major concern for the whole planet. "The Plastic Planet" project was carried out by teacher students Tiia Hautasaari and Heidi Pyhtilä, who worked with a group of six grade pupils on sending the important message of how plastic hurts the environment and what can be done to reduce its use:

“Plastic is a serious global environmental problem. We wanted to direct peoples' attention on it. Also we wanted to raise peoples' awareness about consequences of using plastic. During the project we tried to find some solutions to the issue and options to reduce the use of plastic in everyday life,” noted the teacher students.

Apart from raising awareness for environmental issues and motivating students to think about industrial and technical heritage, the project also integrated six subjects: biology, geography, physics, chemistry, arts and Finnish language. Cultural Heritage-makers competition thus represents a creative way to make the potentially abstract theme of heritage approachable to young people and positively influence their academic performance.

This year, Cultural Heritage Makers competition was carried out also in Sweden, making this a truly European cross-border event. There are plans to continue with this competition in the future years with more countries as well.