Robotic and programming clubs booting students' career opportunities

Future jobs will require more and more understanding of digital devices. University of Oulu has started free student-led clubs, which aim to develop job competences for technology sector in particular.

In the clubs, interesting and inspiring projects are conducted in electronics and programming, for instance. They are open to all studying at the University – regardless of degree program or study year. Participation does not require previous experience or knowledge.


Multi-disciplinary cooperation

Robotics and programming clubs unite several students of different disciplines in a nice way. "Working together develops interdisciplinary thinking and facilitates learning," says Antti Mäntyniemi, Manager of the Fab Lab.

"Technology and science education cover topics in the abstract level or theoretically. When students can build and program prototypes themselves at the Fab Lab, structure and operation principles of complicated devices open up in a completely different way, " Mäntyniemi says.


DIY and enthusiasm

In the robotics and programming clubs participants carry out projects chosen by themselves and learn useful skills for working life, such as different coding languages, 3D-plotting and electronic design.

"In the club one can do, for example, phone games, robots, or other fun. The participants can come up with own ideas, or they can select from a list of training programmes at", presents the robotics club leader Jani Lehtovirta.

Student of Electrical Engineering Lehtovirta has years of experience in the construction of robots. His latest achievement is Teraleon, more than 3-meter high showrobot, which was built by a group of about twenty students.

Popularity exceeded expectations


Club activities started at the beginning of February. Already on the first day over 60 participants arrived - twice as much as was expected.

Lehtovirta says that the operation is designed to meet the wishes and needs of the participants. The best part is the fact that they get to do exactly what they want, and learn about the very things they are interested in. "

From students to students

Clubs are organized by Buutti, a student-founded company. The team currently consists of the robotics club leader Jani Lehtovirta, programming educator Peetu Nuottajärvi, CEO Dan Ackers, and economic and marketing responsible Mikko Koistinen.

What motivates a technology student having many irons on the fire to spend time on extracurricular activities with the students?

"Keeping the club is a nice, fun and rewarding. It's great to meet new people interested in technology, and share own knowledge and experience with them, "Lehtovirta enthuses.

Five days a week

The robot-building clubs will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12-16 in Oulu FabLab premises. Programming club meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 16-20 in classroom TS 135.

Spring semester's clubs will go on until the end of April. In autumn the clubs are planned to be continued again. Once stabilized, expansion of clubes to other target groups is planned. In the future, clubs could be also available for high school students, students at universities of applied sciences and others interested," Jani Lehtovirta envisions.

Last updated: 22.2.2017