The main aim of the University of Tartu Youth Academy (henceforth UTYA) is to give opportunities and possibilities for the development of pupils who have a deeper interest in science. The UTYA offers both the facilities to enrich pupils’ knowledge beyond usual school curriculum and also the resources to spend their leisure time meaningfully.
Pupils of elementary and high schools who feel that the standard curriculum is insufficient for their needs can choose from various enrichment courses the UTYA proposes. The list of available courses can be found on our website (in Estonian).
The UTYA organizes courses into three levels – courses for older grades of elementary school students, more difficult courses for able high-school students and special sessions for pupils who are preparing themselves for the international contests. The list of subject fields the UTYA covers is extensive – we have courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, life sciences, and also in linguistics, philosophy, and other areas. Some courses are correspondence courses conducted via ordinary mail; some are carried out using e-learning facilities. Pupils can study either individually or as a group. There are no entrance tests; however pupils need to be motivated and ready for independent work.
Enrichment studies assist pupils in making their prospective career choices and give them guidance as to which subjects they prefer to study at the university. Furthermore, of essential importance are the assuredness and skills for independent learning that these courses give - both are necessary assets at the university.
The instructors of the courses are usually professors, researchers or students at Tartu University. Pupils get feedback for their learning tasks and after successful graduation from the course they obtain a certificate from Tartu University.
Pupils who would like to broaden their knowledge and train their mind with quizzes should visit the special section of our website called Nupuvere (in Estonian).
For pupils who are interested in participating in different kinds of contests the UTYA organizes national olympiads in mathematics, physics, chemistry, informatics, biology and geography, and other areas. Successful performance at national olympiads gives the opportunity to participate on international contests or olympiads. Estonian teams have been taking part in such contests since 1992 and each year our pupils have won several medals.
To enhance pupils’ self-awareness of their abilities, learning styles and learning strategies the UTYA offers some testing facilities. Some of these tests can be taken online. Also, psychological advice concerning various emotional and social problems is made available to those who need it.
For teachers and schools
For teachers and schools, the UTYA has developed and gathered various teaching resources that help organize individualized learning in classes and are useful for additional extracurricular activities (for instance, arranging contests in schools or preparing instructions for individual work). For schools there is also a possibility of ordering teacher-training sessions regarding gifted childrens’ education and psychology.
Parents who are interested in gifted children – for instance, whether their child is gifted or how to support such a child – can find some recourses in respective sections of the UTYA’s website. There is also a mailing-list devoted to the topic of gifted children – parents can share there their experience and problems and search solutions to these problems together. Parents can also receive individual counseling which includes tests for their children.
teaduskool [ät] ut.ee