SciFest moves to Botania and builds an internationally unique learning environment for science education

After being held at Joensuu Arena for 12 years, the annual SciFest science festival in Joensuu now moves to the botanical garden Botania. The main driver behind the move is a desire to offer an increasingly diverse programme at SciFest, and to provide visitors and workshop holders with new experiences in the unique surroundings of the botanical garden. Traditionally, the festival has taken place in April-May. However, as it moves to Botania, the festival gets moved up to late August, and the 2019 SciFest will be held on 29–31 August 2019. The festival is organised by Joensuu Science Society and the University of Eastern Finland, in association with the City of Joensuu and Botania.

SciFest is, above all, a science education event. The objective of science education is to provide children, starting from early childhood education onwards, with frameworks for wondering, curiosity, experimenting, doing and testing. As an event that brings together kindergarten and preschool children, pupils, students, researchers, academic organisations, families and representatives of business and industry, SciFest has proven to be a highly inspirational and evolving concept.  Botania as the festival venue will provide an excellent framework for further developing and finding new perspectives to the festival and science education.

Compared to Joensuu Arena, the nature of the festival and its workshops will naturally change, as the majority of the workshops will be held outdoors. SciFest organisers are now working with Botania to find technical solutions that will allow for a diverse range of workshops to be held outdoors even in the event of uncertain weather conditions. Moving the festival up from spring to late summer also diminishes weather-related risks.

“I’m sure that SciFest’s workshop holders who are used to operating in Joensuu Arena will have to rethink the concept and functioning of their workshops, but we’d like to see this as a positive thing, benefitting workshop holders and visitors alike.  For instance, Botania with its surrounding arboretum of over 70 hectares will surely serve as a source of inspiration for all workshop holders,” says Joensuu Science Society's Executive Manager Pauliina Korhonen.

“Weather is something that we can’t control, but we can make sure that all workshops have access to dry and sufficiently warm facilities. Just like in Joensuu Arena, all workshops will have electricity and proper lighting,” Korhonen continues.

Kari Kola from Valoparta and Executive Manager Pauliina Korhonen from Joensuu Science Society were pleased to present Botania to journalists as the new venue of SciFest.

The move to Botania is, first and foremost, motivated by a desire to further develop high-level science education, which is at the core of Joensuu Science Society’s operations, in an increasingly diverse and impactful direction. This can best be achieved by working together with the companies and associations operating in Botania. The move to Botania also seeks to influence Joensuu Science Society’s cost structure by reducing the fixed costs of SciFest. This frees up more resources for offering high-quality science education all year round.

SciFest will maintain its role as the highpoint of Joensuu Science Society’s annual calendar, bringing together thousands of school children, their teachers and others interested in science and technology. Alongside SciFest, a diverse learning environment for science education will also be built in collaboration Botania, making effective and open-minded use of new technological tools, such as mobile devices, the internet of things, and applications of virtual and augmented reality.


For further information, please contact:

Heikki Happonen

Chair of the Executive Board

Joensuu Science Society

heikki.happonen(at), +358 50 303 0749


Pauliina Korhonen

Executive Manager

Joensuu Science Society

pauliina.korhonen(at), +358 50 361 1470