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Creative New Use for Ski Poles in Finland

More than forty new and old participants in the GLOBE Program in Finland kicked off the new school year with an event at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki.  With the assistance of Senior Scientist Achim Drebs from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the group transformed old ski poles into snow depth measurement sticks and learned how to use them to take scientific measurements of snow depth.  This school year GLOBE schools in Finland will participate in a national snow depth measurement project, a project that can be adapted to all ages across the school curriculum. 

The workshop participants heard from Board of Education representatives Lea Houtsonen and Paula Mattila, who highlighted the importance of two key educational reforms—teaching that will give students the chance to integrate concrete situations into multidisciplinary study; and increasing the international outlook of education—both of which, they said, are integral to the GLOBE Program.  "We are happy," they said, "to see so many active GLOBE participants, and especially happy that participants from all over Finland have come who teach different topics:  mathematics, biology, geography, physics, and chemistry, as well as Finnish and English language."

The day culminated with a closing address by U.S. Ambassador Bruce Oreck, who described the Embassy's new Innovation Center and its role in promoting environmental awareness, and highlighted how the newly renovated Embassy incorporated innovative energy efficient construction.  Ambassador Oreck praised the crucial role that teachers play in building the future and in inspiring students.

Instructions for snow depth measurement can be found at the new Finnish GLOBE pages at