The international Millennium Youth Camp brings together 16 to 19-year-olds interested in natural sciences, mathematics and technology.
Ramon Goncalves da Silva came to Finland to participate in the Millennium Youth Camp science event after being awarded a medal in the International Science Olympiad.
“I believe in innovation and technology. In 10 years’ time, I see myself back in Brazil working for the welfare of the Brazilian people. I hope that I will be able to combine my expertise in chemistry and economics and work as an entrepreneur whose products will be used to promote sustainability and the efficient use of natural resources,” says da Silva.
During the week-long camp, da Silva and other participants worked in groups and complete a scientific project related to sustainability. Each group was mentored by experts. The participants also learned about Finnish innovation and research performed by Finnish companies and universities.
Renewable natural resources
For the 2014 Youth Camp, companies participated in developing ideas for the projects more actively than in previous years. Cooperating with companies provides participants with an insight into the importance of science and technology to the success of a business.
“Resource efficiency and innovation are the cornerstones of UPM’s strategy, which is why it is natural for us to cooperate with these young people,” says Pirkko Harrela, Executive Vice President, Stakeholder Relations.
UPM’s science project included designing a biorefinery concept while making use of processes and end products suitable for lignocellulose.
Unforgettable moments in a Finnish forest
The science camp was not all work. For example, UPM also presented the sustainable use of natural resources on a forest excursion where the group got to discuss the use of forests and plant some spruce seedlings.
Seventeen-year-old Bokyong Mun from New Zealand admired the quiet of Finnish forests.
“The trees here are completely different to the trees back home. It is great that we had the opportunity to learn about forest biodiversity and how this important natural resource is taken care of here. Not all countries manage their forests like this,” said Mun.
The International Millennium Youth Camp is held in Finland every summer.