On the 29th of October, together with CHEMARTS, Aalto Junior Lab, Creative Sustainability – CS and Espoo International School – EIS started a phenomenon based learning course with 75 children around the topics of Biomaterials and Sustainability at Aalto University and EIS.
This course has been a result of a collaboration that began in spring 2018, during a teacher’s training of the master’s thesis titled “Emotional Nature” developed by a CS design student Sara Lucía Rueda Mejia. On the 29th of October, 3 different workshops were held, in which students were rotating and participating in groups of 25. One of those workshops was the Emotional Nature Learning Experience.
Emotional Nature is a hands-on learning experience and toolkit that connects different tangible and intangible tools for educators to visualise, grasp and engage in a dialogue with emotions in relation to materials. The Emotional Nature toolkit is also a temporary safe space for educators and children to motivate their understanding of emotions, as well as meaningful connections with nature. The learning is enhanced through a creative and fun process combining tools like value cards, storytelling, meditation, natural inks, and mainly wood-based biomaterials.
The research process is designed in response to the main findings from the initial exploratory phase of Emotional Nature. First, biomaterials as a key tool to feel nature, as well as express and materialize emotions; second, the difficulties in dealing with emotions in the classroom; and third, the reduced availability of safe and comfortable spaces to share and transform emotions in Finnish educational context.