Group information

Introduction to Epic Challenge in Finland

University of Eastern Finland, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, North Karelia Municipal Education and Training Consortium, Joensuun normaalikoulu high-school  and Joensuun lyseon lukio high-school have are collaborating with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA. Students of these five research and education organizations can apply to become part of the Epic Challenge education program developed and offered by NASA.

During fall semester 2016 and spring semester 2017 students will try to tackle the epic challenge of sustaining humans on Mars. To accomplish the goal of coming up with new inventive solutions, students will study the innovation processes and methods (Innovative Concept and Engineering Design - ICED) used by NASA. These studies will be worth 15 ECTS credits and the work will take place in a local setting in Joensuu with a remote connection to NASA and to its experts. 

Collaboration with NASA begun after Arcusys Ltd, a Joensuu area software company, started working with NASA on the development of an online learning environment Valamis. First ever Epic Challenge participation in Joensuu happened during the 2015 - 2016 semesters.

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What you will learn

During the two semester program you will learn:

  • to apply innovative conceptual engineering design methods to difficult problems, 
  • to work and communicate effictively in multi-disciplinary and international teams
  • to design and execute experiments and build prototypes
  • to interact with experts and professionals from NASA and elsewhere 
  • a lot about Mars and space in general

The program will start with a kickoff week and then continue with workshop every Wednesday 16:00 - 20:00 at Joensuu Science Park. Outside the workshops student do teamwork and individually study various topics.

The studies are worth 15 ECTS credits and for example at Karelia UAS these are considered as advanced studies.



Heikki Immonen

Innovation Coordinator

Charles Camarda

Astronaut,Senior Advisor for Engineering Development, NASA

Markku Hautakasari