Activities

Linkki organizes programming clubs and camps for about 8 to 16 year-old children and young people. Additionally, Linkki takes part in arranging programming competitions and receives school classes for science classroom visits.

Clubs

Basic information

The club periods, dates and place

  • Linkki organizes clubs during the University of Helsinki terms. Most clubs run for the entire term, with 12 meetings per term. The Game programming for beginners club runs in 4 periods of 6 mettings per year (early autumn, late autumn, early spring, late spring).
  • All the clubs (except the algorithm and virtual clubs) are arranged at 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm at the Department of Computer Science at Kumpula Campus (the address is Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2 b).
  • The weekdays of the clubs vary at intervals and the updated ones are shown on the registration form.

Registration

  • The news section will be updated when the registration to the next period of clubs begins.
  • If you would like to get email in advance, please send a message to linkki-kerhot@cs.helsinki.fi. Those whose child is already attending clubs will receive the messages automatically.
  • Registration happens through the Lyyti form. The link is in the news section when the registration is open.

About the language in the clubs

  • The programming clubs are in Finnish. The participant should have sufficient language skills in Finnish to be able to follow the given instructions. Sometimes there have been bilingual children in Linkki clubs. The instructors are usually able to answer single questions in English. English skills are also helpful with some programming applications used in part of the advanced-level clubs.
  • For already formed groups, Linkki might be able to organize instruction in English. If you are interested, please contact Linkki.
  • Linkki welcomes wishes and questions regarding the clubs to linkki-kerhot@cs.helsinki.fi.

Choosing a suitable club

  • Please read the short descriptions of the clubs first. The descriptions contain information about the target groups and themes of the clubs.
  • The collected answers to the most common questions are found in the section Information for parents.
  • The coordinators of Linkki are pleased to help you with choosing a club. To reach them best, please send a message to linkki-kerhot@cs.helsinki.fi. Especially if the age of your child is not yet above the age limit of the club, please contact Linkki.
  • Also in case of your child has some special needs which would be good to know, please contact the Linkki coordinators at linkki-kerhot@cs.helsinki.fi. The Linkki coordinators and instructors will handle all issues confidentially and ensure the needs are taken into consideration.

Club descriptions

Following are short descriptions about the clubs in English to help you choose. The more comprehensive descriptions of clubs are in Finnish. Please notice that actively organized clubs might vary between the periods (all the clubs on the list are not necessarily running currently). In Linkki clubs, there is about one instructor per eight children.

Suggested ages of participants

The recommendations for participants' ages are given in the school grades of the Finnish educational system. Finns generally go to school the year they turn 7, so grades 2-4 encompass children around 8-10 years of age, grades 4-6 children 10-12 years of age and grades 7-9 children 13-15 years of age.

Game programming for beginners

For whom?

  • For children interested in programming in grades 2-4
  • Those who are either at the beginning of their programming hobby or have been in a beginners’ club
  • This club does not require any skills in programming
  • Literacy is required as well as mouse and keyboard skills

What?

  • Game programming with Scratch.
  • The participant can follow the instructions from the instructors (in front of the class) or work with instructions on paper

Advanced game programming

For whom?

  • For children interested in programming in grades 2-6
  • Those who have some experience in Scratch/AppInventor programming from Linkki clubs/camps or from somewhere else
  • Participants should be able to program Keräilypeli (Collecting game) independently from the instructions

What?

  • Advanced game programming with Scratch or AppInventor
  • Participants program games independently from instructions on paper at their own pace
  • Instructors give guidance when necessary, but might introduce new concepts to all participants in the manner of a school lesson

Python-programming for beginners

For whom?

  • For children/young people in grades 5 and beyond
  • If your child is younger than 11 years old and would like to join this club, please contact us (linkki-kerhot@cs.helsinki.fi)
  • Suitable both for absolute programming beginners and those who would like to move on from visual programming languages such as Scratch

What?

  • Text-based programming with Python
  • The participant can follow the instructions from the instructors (in front of the class) or work with instructions on paper

Text-based programming

For whom?

  • For children/young people in grades 6 and beyond, who have participated in programming clubs or have gained programming experience from somewhere else
  • If your child is younger than 12 years old and would like to join this club, please contact us (linkki-kerhot@cs.helsinki.fi)
  • For those who are already experts in Scratch or are interested in programming languages used in working life

What?

  • Text-based programming with Python/Java
  • Participants follow instructions on paper at their own pace
  • Instructors will help when needed

Algorithms club

For whom?

  • For programming-skilled persons who are interested in programming, mathematics, and algorithms
  • The ages of participants vary and there is no age limit (some of the participants are attending basic education, others are doctoral students)
  • For those who want to talk about their interests and for those who want to listen to interesting topics being discussed

What?

  • The club where participants are also instructors in the process
  • There is a theme for every club evening (like neural networks, speech recognition etc.)
  • Participants will act as instructors by turns
  • Participants are not forced to act as instructors - you are welcome if you want to listen only
  • More practical information in Finnish

Virtual club

For whom?

  • For everyone interested in Scratch programming regardless of location and programming experience

What?

  • The virtual club offers possibilities to train Scratch programming skills through participating in the weekly challenges
  • The club challenges are always built on some theme, like sound effects or animations.
  • The instructions for participating are in Finnish.

Camps

Linkki organizes week-long summer day camps during school summer vacations. Previously, the programming camp selection has included among other things Scratch for beginners and for the advanced level, AppInventor, and Java.

Typically, camp days include interesting activities related to computer science. A large part of the day is used for learning programming in a computer class. Additionally, the instructors organize a program that introduces science and the University of Helsinki more generally. For example, in some camps there have been visits to computer science labs. During the breaks, the kids take part in outdoor activities and games.

Every day, the participants have lunch together (it is included in the price of the camp). In most camps, there is also a healthy snack served during the afternoon break. More information about meals is available in a letter which is sent to all parents before camp.

If a participant is young or unsure about a route to/from a camp, it is recommendable that she/he is accompanied by a parent. Older participants are often used to travelling by themselves. Upon registration, there is a question whether a child has permission to travel alone.

On the afternoon of the last day of a camp parents and siblings are welcome to participate in a demo event in which the participants demonstrate their own projects. In addition, parents have the opportunity to ask questions about programming as a hobby.

Linkki is part of the University of Helsinki LumA Science Education Centre. Therefore, programming camps are found together with other science camps on a list that contains all the camps of LumA. The camps are mainly in Finnish but in previous years there have been some camps in English too. The page is unfortunately only in Finnish. The list will be updated when information about next summer’s camps is confirmed.

Competitions

Linkki organizes the Datatähti competition in co-operation with MAOL ry and Aalto University. Further, Linkki coaches participants for the International Olympiad in Informatics and Baltic Olympiad in Informatics.

The competitions are targeted to secondary and high school aged. More information about the competitions is provided on the websites of the competitions and on Linkki’s page in Finnish.

Information for parents

Linkki has collected answers to frequently asked questions about the programming hobby and clubs.