On 20 November, TalTech and the Estonian Academy of Arts will start a joint training programme Engineer-Designer of the Future (EDF) that welcomes pupils from grades 9 to 12 from all over Estonia. The programme is supported by the Ministry of Education and Research.
TalTech and EAA ask teachers from general education schools to involve talented students from their schools in the training programme. Engineer-Designer of the Future is an innovative project where young people get a thorough overview of the professions of engineer and designer in the course of their studies. Together with mentors, young people seek answers to the questions of why these professions are necessary, what their roles are, and how engineers and designers complement each other in product development. In this project, TalTech and EKA combine engineering knowledge and skills with creativity, meaning, and user-focus. The broader topic of the project is climate change and its impact on the society.
Ruth-Helene Melioranski, Dean of the Faculty of Design at EKA, explains the rationale for creating the program: “The problems arising from the current climate crisis are very complex and the previous solutions have not helped. A new cross-disciplinary approach, both creative and analytical, is needed to achieve meaningful and functioning innovation. In the programme created in collaboration with researchers from two Estonian universities that are the best in their fields, EKA and TalTech, we are laying groundwork for new problem-based learning for talented pupils, which will result in actual prototypes of new possibilities for dealing with the climate crisis by spring.”
Hanno Tomberg, head of TalTech Open University, said: “We especially welcome these young people to our training programme who want to bring their ideas to life and whom the universities could support in the process. We also provide knowledge about creating projects and solving complex tasks. As the training programme takes place on weekends, we welcome pupils from across Estonia from Rõuge and Sõrve to Narva-Jõesuu and Pärnu.”
In determining the level of talent of young people accepted to the programme, the mentors take into account the general mental abilities of the pupils, as well as their level of interest in the world affairs, ability to think critically, and creativeness in approaching problems. The facilitators expect the young people participating in the programme to be creative and dare to experiment with ideas which may seem crazy at first. We ask talented young people to sign up to the programme at: taltech.ee/tid
The study days of the EDF programme include some theoretical and more practical training. Introductory webinars will take place in November 2021. The more in-depth and practical part will be conducted from January to June 2022 in smaller groups as 12-day study cycles. The study days are planned to take place as classroom training. Pupils are supervised by lecturers and students from both universities.
The modules of the programme have been formulated as questions:
- Introduction – Who creates the future world?
- Topic Module – How to get to the other side?
- Topic Module – How to get food?
- Topic Module – How to learn in a changing climate?