SUE «Vodokanal of St. Petersburg»

Pietarin lasten ekologinen keskus on tärkeä kumppani Tiede 2- kurssissa. Täältä voit lukea millaisia kokoemuksia ja ajatuksia kurssi on herättänyt siihen osallistuneissa oppilaissa ja opettajissa.

Thoughts from st. Petersburg


This year, I was very lucky to take part in the project of Vodokanal Youth Environmental Center.

As a part of this project, we visited Finland, the town of Lahti.

We were lucky to talk with students from Lahti who are interested in environmental problems of water bodies. We visited some units of Helsinki University in Lahti and studied water samples from the local lake of Pikku-Vesijärvi, and also attended interesting and informative lectures and seminars.

One day, we were invited to an amazing walk through Lahti and the large lake Vesijärvi nearby. The lake and the park impressed me because they were clean, well-cared and full of silence. It was nice to walk around the park admiring the lake.

We also managed to visit the ski jumping venues built for the Winter Olympic Games in Lahti. The venues impressed us with their size, we even managed to see the skier who was flying from one of them.

Most of all I liked the central square and one of the main streets Aleksanterinkatu. One day we went to Lammi premises and took water samples from the Pääjärvi Lake and neighboring streams. Then we studied these samples under a microscope, we could observe various representatives of the lake flora and fauna and also continued studying different parameters of water samples. For example, we determined the amount of oxygen in water, temperature, clarity etc. It was really unusual and interesting. The laboratories of the biological center have modern equipment which allows scientists to conduct constant monitoring of water state in the lake.

We would like to express our gratitude to the center personnel for the tours, laboratory studies and friendly attitude to our group!

On the final day, we visited a very picturesque rock break place of glacial origin where we learned about the history of this territory formation, the peculiarities of minerals, the biodiversity of the area, walked through the woods and enjoyed fresh air.

I am happy to be a part of this project, it allowed me to meet many interesting people, exchange experiences and learn a lot of new things for myself. Lahti is a new place on the map of my world. I look forward to the arrival of the Finnish group!

Alexandera Fedotova, Student of 11A Grade, Gymnasia No. 261.


In May 2017, two teams from Gymnasia No. 261 were among the winners of the project "Youth Awareness-Raising in the framework of the International Advanced Water Technologies Centre." The students were very happy about their victory, because they made a lot of efforts to achieve it, and the team captains Julia Shabanova and Lyubov Nelepko did a lot of organizational work.

We were looking forward to go to Finland, to Lahti. Our team specially prepared for the trip: it was necessary to think up how to present the project work which was done in St. Petersburg to the Finnish students, to practice our English in the field of environment, to prepare various games for the joint Russian-Finnish group and much more. Having coped with the assigned tasks, we started our trip by Allegro train.

It turned out to be a very interesting, educational trip rich in various activities. The students from St. Petersburg and Lahti studied together local water bodies - oxygen content in the lake water, made laboratory tests, learned about the flora and fauna of the Pääjärvi Lake located at Lammi biological station territory. Helsinki University teachers talked about the environmental problems of the region and their scientific works; they willingly answered to all students questions.

In addition to the educational component, the trip made it possible to get wonderful communication experience. Every day the students worked in pairs with Finnish students, and it was great! We discussed a variety of topics, talked about ecology and the Finnish traditions, about favorite music and special features of Russian and Finnish education, about traditional dishes and travelling. The Finnish children showed us their city, led through the streets, introduced interesting places. We visited Patina processing center and Sibeliushall, looked at the town of Lahti from the height of the ski jumping hills.

I would like to thank Saija Tillgren (the project coordinator from LADEC) for the great work to organize this trip, Petri Ojala (the teacher from Lahti school) and the personnel from Vodokanal Youth Environmental Center. The trip was prepared perfectly. We are looking forward our Finnish friends to make a return visit!

Natalya N. Sechina, Chemistry Teacher, Gymnasia No. 261



Feedback from Lyceum № 482 team:

September 5th. 9 a.m. We began our journey to welcoming Finland. In the middle of the first school Monday, we were racing towards new discoveries with a speed of about 180 km/h! But for those still unaware, let’s begin with the very beginning.

Have you ever been in Finland? But we were lucky to participate in the international project dedicated to the Baltic Sea.

And thus, September 5th, 11 a.m. Upon arrival in Lahti, we were first driven to a wonderful hotel. We left our bags there and went to lyceum to present our project to Finnish children. The school from the outside differed little from schools in Russia. In the lobby we have been awaited by teacher Petri and a group of children with whom we will communicate during the next 3 days.

We found ourselves in a biology class and have to listen carefully to teachers. All lectures were held in English. At first it was difficult to listen to, but in a short time, we managed to overcome it. That was the official part, and next we had a most “difficult” stage of our journey - games. And after 20 minutes we were able to get acquainted and communicate with each other.

At the Lyceum we also presented the results of work that has been done under the project in St.Petersburg. By the way, 60 schools participated in the project in St.Petersburg.

Then, we were divided into groups so that each had children from both countries, and went for a walk around the city. Girls, with whom we walked in the evening, showed us the main attractions of Lahti.

On the second day we went out of town to the lakeshore.

There we were in the role of scientists who extracted samples for research. We dug worms, boated, and took water samples from different depths. In addition to scientific measurements, we, of course, played, talked and just enjoyed the beauty of Finland.

On the third day we had to move to a scientific base of the University of Helsinki, where we conducted research of samples.

It was very interesting. And most surprisingly, there was practically no language barrier that was when we arrived.

Just before leaving, we visited the organization for the processing of old items into something useful. It would seem to be so simple. Not at all! There are working many designers who transform ordinary to something special: clothes, lamps, interior accessories, and more.

When our wonderful adventure came to an end, our friends accompanied us to the very train. Farewell is always sad. But we knew that this is not the end of our meetings! Immersed in his thoughts about the soon meeting, we were on our way back home to Russia.

October 10th, 3 p.m. 15 students miss school classes again))))) ...

Something strange happens in the hall of the Youth Environmental Center. Boys move tables, girls put things in order. What is happening? Why all the fuss? The answer is simple and you probably have already guessed. Less than in one hour in this very room there will be our long-awaited and beloved guests. After welcoming, we made for them a tour of our all-liked Youth Environmental Center (of Vodokanal of St.Petersburg). We discussed features of the Baltic Sea, the local environment, talked about how people in cities use water, how water is purified in the city, which facilities and technologies are used, etc. We carried out educational games, and then we all together had a tea, and then, visited the Water Museum. The evening came to a close, and it was time to say goodbye. But only for one night, because tomorrow we expected a difficult day.

9 a.m. of the next day.

Full of enthusiasm and energy, our friendly Russian-Finnish group went to the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant. This is the place where the water is turned from dirty into clean. We were told in detail about all the stages of wastewater treatment. This is a very long and important process for such a big city!

Returning to St. Petersburg, we became St.Petersburg “guides” and went for a walk around the city.

The third day of the visit began with a visit to St.Petersburg State University. We were able to get acquainted with the work of scientists from St.Petersburg State University. The visit was very useful for us as future freshmen. We imagined ourselves real students!

One of the brightest stages of our meeting was a visit to the Hermitage - St.Petersburg main sight. A lot of guys definitely wanted to come back here again and again!

Well, our trip ended on that wonderful note. But it will be one of the most vivid memories of our youth.

Lyceum № 445 group


Report about the trip

Recently, a team of pupils from out school participated in the international project "Education of the youth in the framework of the IAWTC" focused on the protection of the Baltic Sea. We, female students from school No 482, were lucky to take 3rd place and go on this unforgettable journey.

In Finland, we did not only talk about the state of the Baltic Sea, but also discussed the ecology as a whole, the environment condition and ways of its investigation. I really enjoyed our trip to the lake Vesijärvi. There, on the close to the cottage on the shore, we had lectures about the importance of soil health, human impact on the environment and about environmentally friendly use of water. But do not think that we just sat and listened! At the same lake on the shore we dug worms, determined how many of them were accumulated at the territory, took samples of water from the depths of the Vesijärvi with the help of special tools and measured water temperature.

Later, we went to the Research Centre of the University of Helsinki, where we like real scientists investigated our samples and analyzed the results obtained. We also examined under a microscope animal organisms, we caught not far from the center in the water bodies. You just can not imagine how many different insects we found!!!! There were larvae of dragonflies, water scorpions and                  sermountains and many others.

I really enjoyed this trip! We learned a lot of new and interesting things.

When the pupils from Finland visited our city, we were a little worried if they would like our program. However, at the end of their trip they told us that they would certainly come back. In St. Petersburg, we visited the South-West Wastewater Treatment Plant. Before this trip, I have never thought of the amount of wastewater produced after consumption by the citizens which requires treatment. After it is purified, it enters the Gulf of Finland!

It was also interesting to visit the different faculties of St. Petersburg State University, where we studied the different sea creatures.

I think that both trips were wonderful, we learned a lot, made a lot of new friends and had a good time all together.

Anna Dmytrenko 11 a.


We arrived in Lahti on the 5th of September 2016.

On the first day we went to see the lyceum, in which children study.

At first we had time to get to know each other. Some Finnish guys had names which are pretty difficult to pronounce for the Russian people. The strangest thing is that they thought about us the same! )))

Then we had Petri Ojala teacher lecture, and then we presented our own works and the presentation about how the project took place in St. Petersburg. It was pretty worrying to present our project, but we did it!

After that the Finnish guys showed their school and told how they study.

After dinner, we went outside and went for a walk around the city with the Finnish guys. They showed us some interesting places in Lahti. It was very interesting !!!

The next day, on the 6th of September we had breakfast at the hotel and went by bus to the other side of Lake Vesijärvi for research.

To carry out environmental studies, all people were divided into small groups. Teachers sent one group to the lecture of Nora Civic, another group went to the forest with the teacher Petri Oyaa, and the third group went on boats to take water samples from the center of Lake Vesijärvi.

By the evening, when all the groups conducted all the researches, we sat together and talked to each other and played in the Finnish and Russian games.

It was very fun and interesting!

On 7th of September at 9:00 we arrived at Lammi Biological Station.

We and Finnish students stayed in the rooms.

One group went to explore the damp area around Stream Koyransuolenoya, and the second group in high boots went to explore the lakeside of Pyaayarvi.

After dinner we went to a lecture on the study of aquatic ecosystems. After the lecture one group went to analyze water samples from Stream Koyransuolenoya, and the second went to study the lake residents caught in the net in the Pyaayarvi lake. Then the groups changed places.

At 17:00 we had dinner and in the evening we visited a sauna.

On 8th of September we woke up at 7:00, we had breakfast and went to a place called Pirunpesa. Nora Civic read us a lecture about the glacial origin of this territory, about the features of the natural park and during the travel through the park we could learn about a variety of plant species.

The area was not very flat, with mountains and we climbed to the top, had a little rest and we went on. Soon we came to a place where had a picnic, grilled sausages and sang Russian and Finnish songs.

At 11:45 we went to Lahti. Arriving at the high school, we had lunch and went on foot to the recycling center Patina.

We enjoyed the walk around the city, chatted with Finnish children who accompanied us.

Our leave was so touching that we almost cried ....

To be honest, I traveled abroad the first time. And I'm glad that we had the Finns and the Russian team, which was easy, interesting and fun. Already the next day I tried to communicate in English, although the level of knowledge of spoken English was not high. The children were sociable, not shy to speak.

I remember how we walked in the first day of arrival. Elsie, Nanna and Tiya showed us the city center. I want to say a big thank you to all Finnish children and the organizers for a wonderful experience!!! It was very informative and helpful. We have known how learn children at school, how scientists conduct research, how important it is to do environmental projects together! Thank you all!

Natalia Serenkova

What happened in Saint Petersburg.

Preparing for the arrival of Finnish children in St. Petersburg was quite fun and interesting.

On 10th of October Finnish guys arrived in St. Petersburg. On this day we went to the Youth Environmental Center of Vodokanal of Saint-Petersburg and spent there we played games to remember the names of all the children.

Then we had a class devoted to the Baltic Sea. Then the Finnish guys showed us a presentation on Pyaayarvi and Vesijärvi lakes that they studied.

After the presentation we sat down to drink tea and after tea went on a tour to the museum complex "The Universe of Water".

On 11th of October we visited SWTP - South-West Wastewater Treatment Plant and had lunch there. There we were able to find out what technologies are used for wastewater treatment. We were surprised how big the complex is needed and how much water is consumed in the city.

On 12th of October we visited Saint-Petersburg State University. We had an excursion in the University, we visited the Faculty of Biology and the Faculty of Biology Resource Center. Scientists and teachers have shown us what research they conduct themselves and we were even able to see in electron microscopes.

After dinner we went on an excursion to the Hermitage.

It was nice to spend a few days with our friends from Lahti together!. I hope that the guys liked their visit to Russia. I really liked the way the first time we had tea with pancakes in the YEC all together. It was very sincere!

Natalia Serenkova



In this school year, we participated in the environmental project "Youth awareness-raising in the framework of the International Advanced Water Technologies Centre".

The first stage was the participation in the interactive classes at the Youth Environmental Centre of St. Petersburg Vodokanal. During these classes we learned many interesting things about the Baltic Sea, its features, problems and how these problems are solved by people.

We live on the coast of the Gulf of Finland and it is very important for us.

The next stage was the seminars  for teams of participants.

At the seminars we discussed how to make other schoolchildren to learn more about the Baltic Sea, how to attract their attention? How to make them treat the environment in a more responsible way?

The project was very enthralling. We had to organize an ecological “school brake” about the Baltic Sea,  conducted  mini-lessons, fun quizzes and environmental games and make a video about it. The most attractive thing was that we had a kind of “creative freedom”; we could create our own little “educational programme”. It was a hard work for all teams, but the result was worth it! We held lessons for kids of our schools, made performances, games and scientific experiments. It was really precious to see these pupils listening to us, watching our performances, playing games and carrying out experiments with interest!
The most warring part was the result announcement. Of course, there were a lot of another teams with different videos...We were so excited when it turned out that we were the winners! Our prize was a trip to Lahti, Finland, were we had to carry out our own research on the Vesijarvi Lake.

This trip was very informative, bright and full of impressions; it really exceeded our expectations. Here are thoughts and feelings of members of the Russian joint team about these days:

«This journey for me was a great opportunity to develop my language skills, meet new people and visit new places. During our trip we visited Lahti, entertainment center "Heureka" and University of Helsinki, which I have always wanted to see,. I was glad for getting a chance to participate in this project, which gave me a lot of knowledge and bright impressions. And warm friendly company also made this journey unforgettable»

Anastasia, 18 y. o.


«Trip to Lahti was amazing for me. Journey to foreign country is always very interesting and valuable experience, let alone meeting new people and finding out that you have a lot of things in common despite of living in different countries.

A main experience for me was a research that we carried out in the Helsinki University. There we had to explore samples of zoo- and phytoplankton under microscope, and the best thing for me was the fact that we took them by ourselves from the Vesijarvi Lake while sailing on boat! I did similar once before in the Harakka Island, but work in the Helsinki University was even more interesting for me. I also was excited by seeing the Heureka museum in Helsinki and fabulous Sibelius Hall in Lahti. And of course I'd like to emphasize our Finnish friends' heartfulness, friendliness and desire to work and spend time with us!

To sum up, I'd like to say that this trip was bright, interesting and undoubtedly unforgettable»! 

Maria, 18 y.o.


«It was my first trip to Finland. I learned a lot about Finnish people, about their schools, culture and so on. I also learned a lot about zoo- and phytoplankton that we took from water by ourselves. We explored it in the Helsinki University; I read a lot about this place and really wanted to see it.
This trip was not just interesting, it was really informative and exciting»!

Diana, 16 y.o.


«Trip to Lahti was my first trip to Finland. Thanks to it I got a lot of experience in Collaboration with Finish students and met many interesting people. I want to say that nature is very beautiful in Finland, which I really liked»

Danya. 17 y.o.


“Trip to Lahti was the first for me. It exceeded all my expectations! I made new friends with whom I still support contact. Each day was full of new experience. I participated in scientific research of water from the lake, learned to distinguish composition of phytoplankton. I learned about a variety of devices for measurement of water temperature at different depths, collection of phytoplankton and zooplankton, surveying the chemical composition of water. It was very informative actually. Moreover, it is worth mentioning the visit to the scientific center “Heureka”. There we were able to check the physics laws in practice. More than six months passed, but memories about that trip still fresh as rhythm "Cups”!!!

Lisa, 19 y.o.


«I've been in Finland for so many times, but I've never met Finnish students before. Probably, it was fortune that we came exactly to Lahti, where we met such cool guys, with whom we're still in touch.
They told us about themselves and their routine school days. We visited Finnish school, Biology classes, met their teachers. It was quite noticeable, that the school was full of new technologies and it's very interesting to study there. Moreover, we had a chance to taste local cuisine, having a lunch in the school canteen. It was delicious! Together with our good Finnish friends we visited the Vesijarvi Lake, where we had a great time. We got to the middle of the Lake for sampling of water from different depth. We were searching for zooplankton and then measured PH-level of water. These are not ordinary things to do, are those? However, it was super interesting! Having all this difficult, but exciting work done, we were singing songs, playing “cups”, dancing and, of course, visiting Finnish sauna.
It was a luck to be in the local national park, where we climbed rocks and caves, had a picnic and took lots of cool photos, because that was impossible not to do in such a beautiful place. We also visited the Helsinki State University, where we attended workshop in the laboratory, analyzing plankton, which we got from the Vesijarvi. I was impressed by the unique architectural style of the University and its new technologies, to say the truth, I even started to think about studying there in the future. What is more, we went to popular-science center “Heureka” in Helsinki. As guys said it is the most interesting and unusual museum in Finland. We met mysterious world of science and felt ourselves as a real researchers, exploring the secrets of the Universe. Numerous great interactive expositions and exhibits, which we could touch with our hands, helped us to do it. Furthermore, we were in the biggest wooden building of the country of a century, which is Sibelius Concert Hall. I, as a person interested in music, was amazed by great acoustics. Unsurprisingly, many famous musicians came there from all over the World. Besides all these, we spent lots of time with guys from Finland, they became our new friends.

All in all, science project, visiting the Finnish school, the University, the Concert Hall, the national park, spending time with new friends, singing songs, dancing and lots more were done! Such an unforgettable trip it was! Thanks to all organizers for that»!

Michael, 18 y.o.