• About

    In April 2019, students from Bergen County Academies participating in the Epic Challenge: Mission to Mars Project will be offered a one-of-a-kind international educational experience. BCA students will be attending and presenting at the 13th annual Festival of Science and Technology, SciFest in Joensuu, Finland.


    SciFest is an annual international science and technology festival targeted at school children, students and their teachers with a special focus on scientific phenomena and learning and teaching of science. The aim of the SciFest festival is to bring science, technology and the environment closer to young people in challenging and interesting ways. SciFest 2019 is organized by the Joensuu Science Society with the University of Eastern Finland being the main partner and invite to the Bergen County Academics. The Joensuu Science Society also activates collaboration between schools, educational institutions and companies and promote their internalization with our international collaborators.


    As part of the SciFest students and staff will have an opportunity to collaborate with local students and staff through the Epic Challenge educational program exhibit that will take place at the festival. Also students and staff will have an opportunity to visit all exhibits that will take place at the festival. At the end of the festival students will travel to the capital of Finland, Helsinki and tour local cultural and heritage sites.

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    Joensuu Science Society: SciFest

    SciFest is a yearly international festival which brings together thousands of high school students and teachers to discover new experiences and learn about science, technology and the environment. SciFest takes place every year one weekend in spring in Joensuu, Finland. The festival is free and open to everyone.

    The key to SciFest is first-hand experience. SciFest is all about bringing science to young people in fun and engaging ways. This is why the chief element of the festival is workshops, where kids can experiment and try things out for themselves. Alongside these activities the festival offers science cafés, public speakers and a presentations..

    SciFest is future oriented and truly international by its very nature. The number one aim of the festival is to provide innovative solutions for education and the workforce challenges of the future. The previous festivals have had themes ranging from space to biodiversity, chemistry, and water with visitors and contributors from over 50 countries.

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    Epic Challenge: Mission to Mars Project

    In the Epic Challenge Project , BCA students learn how to solve complex problems creatively by applying a problem solving method created by NASA astronaut Dr. Charles Camarda to complex challenges under the theme of Sustaining Humans on Mars. To solve these challenges students form teams and work together during Wednesday's project time, throughout the school year. During the project, they will learn as a team problem solving and product development skills and while applying those skills developing a functioning prototype. To achieve this goal they come up with hundreds of ideas, which they will test, and through experimentation and cheap and fast concept failure, they narrow the solution down to one, final prototype. In the past seven years over 300 students in BCA have gone through the Epic Challenge project.

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    Cultural Experiences

    The University of Eastern Finland's invitation will allow BCA students to experience a part of the world that is not only on the forefront of new educational platforms but has stunning stretches of Europe's wilderness and a vibrant city life of Helsinki and Joensuu. During the collaboration with UEF and SciFest BCA students will be exposed to Finland's Higher Education system as well as spending time with their Fin peers in High School settings. Planned trips and tours will be arranged to see the best Finland has to offer.

  • Logistics

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    We will be staying approximately 3-5 nights in a hotel in Helsinki and 1-3 nights in dorms at University of Eastern Finland

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    Breakfast will be in our hotel or dorm, lunch will be on the run or in markets, but dinners will be at some of Finland's most exciting restaurants.

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    After our non-stop flight to Helsinki, we will be using Charter buses as our primary means of transportation to and from Joensuu during the trip. There will also be extensive walking and students can expect to walk between 5 miles per day.