News and events - Tampere University of Technology

Business Village fosters the joy of learning

The Business Village becomes a hive of activity when sixth-graders perform job duties, pay taxes, vote and run errands. The miniature city is a role-play exercise that allows sixth- and ninth-graders to experience first-hand the civic, economic and political functions of adult society.
Sixth-graders Heta, Väinö and Mikael worked at Tampere University of Technology in the Business Village Elementary School. Here they are overseeing a 3D printing process.
Sixth-graders Heta, Väinö and Mikael worked at Tampere University of Technology in the Business Village Elementary School. Here they are overseeing a 3D printing process.

Approximately 6,500 sixth-graders and their teachers visit the Business Village Elementary School each year.    

Tampere University of Technology (TUT) represents academia in the Business Village and highlights the broad range of opportunities that the fields of engineering can offer to children and youth.

”Technology shapes our society in a number of different ways. The Business Village offers an excellent way to clarify the diverse careers that are available to engineering graduates and also promotes our visibility among future students,” says Vice President for Education Petri Suomala from Tampere University of Technology.  

3D printer was a hit 

Professor Heta, President Väinö and TUTLab’s Project Manager Mikael, all on sixth grade at Punkalaidun Central School, worked at Tampere University of Technology on Tuesday, 31 October. As Mikael is interested in all kinds of machines, he applied for the position of project manager in order to see a 3D printer at work.

“It’s my job to oversee the 3D printer. It’s making jam jar lids as well as miniature models of phones and houses,” says Mikael.   

Heta wanted to play a professor, because she enjoys helping people.

”I’ve toured the companies to see if they need, for example, heating inspection services. I like being a customer and serving others,” says Heta.  

Väinö’s day as university president has included meetings at City Hall, salary payments and bank transactions.  

”I started the day by giving a speech where I introduced myself and my employees. That was fun! The best thing about the Business Village is that everyone gets to do something,” says Väinö, and spends six euros to buy cleaning services.

Business Village fits in with the new curriculum

Teacher Ville Ahvenus from Punkalaidun Central School has prepared his class for the visit for a couple of weeks. The Business Village concept fits in well with the new curriculum for comprehensive education, which places special emphasis on cross-disciplinary learning modules.  

”This is a great experience, also from a teacher’s perspective. The pupils are really enthusiastic,” says Ville Ahvenus.

He is also proud that the mastermind behind the Business Village concept is Tomi Alakoski, who comes from Punkalaidun.

Business Village for ninth-graders on the TUT campus 

The Business Village is an award-winning Finnish educational innovation coordinated by the Economic Information Office. The concept dates back to 2010, and the Pirkanmaa Business Village was established in Tampere in 2013. The Business Village Secondary School intended for ninth-graders was launched in 2017 and is housed in the Konetalo building on the TUT campus. It offers ninth-grade pupils the opportunity to run a global business.

Emil, Aaro, Lenni and Otso convene a meeting at Metso’s headquarters in the Business Village. Now, how can well sell more rock drills?

A quick stop at the bank to take care of business.

Let’s see… Do we want a youth centre, a school, an employment agency or a police department set up in the Business Village? 

News submitted by: Anna Naukkarinen
Keywords: services and collaboration, image and communications