Problem: The main issues dealt with by the project are the lack of motivation of students and the lack of connection between the real world and school, with the main objective being to prevent social exclusion and unemployment. In order to achieve this, students participate in activities that simulate characteristics of the real world such as working life, consuming and citizenship. It was created in 2009 in Finland by the Economic Information Office and operates in cooperation with municipal administrations and companies.
Solutions: The project is aimed at putting learning about entrepreneurship, economy and society into practice for students in the sixth year of elementary education. The module of studies includes training of teachers, teaching material with 10 lessons based on the national curriculum and a one-day visit to the learning environment - MyCity. The location is a 500 square meter miniature city, built of mobile walls. The environment includes real businesses such as energy and telephone companies, public services and its own banking system. For one day, the students work, earn a virtual salary and act as members of society and consumers, under the constant supervision of a teacher. Among the activities are applications for job vacancies and interviews. They also have to pay taxes and learn how to manage their expenses and their free time. Each MyCity environment reflects the characteristics of business life in the region.
Outcomes: The project environment motivates and encourages students to participate in the society. They have the opportunity to learn from a hands-on experience of how the real world of work functions and how to deal with having responsibilities. The first activities took place in Helsinki in 2010. Following this, several cities in the country received a visit from the itinerant project and eight municipalities established permanent environments, such as Helsinki, Pirkanmaa and Ostrobothnia. Currently, 70% of sixth year elementary students in the country have had access to the program. The project received an award in 2013 from the European Commission for fostering entrepreneurial thinking. In 2014, Me & MyCity was one of the winners of the global World Innovation Summit for Education.