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TET 2.0

Work experience through problem solving

TET 2.0 is a model created by the Aalto University Mind Research Group, where students get acquainted with the basics of working life through business problem solving. Students take initiative to seek out issues that businesses face and work to solve them using a variety of innovative methods.

Finland 100


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100






March 2017
High school students are excellent innovation agents.

About the innovation

What is it all about?

In Finland, there is an attempt to extend careers by getting young people to start working life earlier. Universities are reforming their admission criteria and the aim is to get more young people to continue their studies straight after high school. However, at this stage of their lives, high school students' knowledge and skill set required for working life are still lacking, as working life collaborations as rare.

Studies have shown that young people would like to be more informed about working life. Additionally, nearly every third of high school students have already decided in advance to take a gap year after high school year instead of pursuing further studies, as they feel that they need more time to decide on what field to study. New ways of collaborating with working life need to be incorporated into high school.

TET 2.0 supports young people with future career choices, giving them successful work experience. It is an introduction to working life for high school students; a new collaboration model, where working life and high school meet.

During the period, students have a chance to meet experts in different fields and learn about the possibilities of various educational paths from professionals. Students are also encouraged to ask about and question companies’ existing strategies and ways of operating. This will enable young people to identify problems that need to be solved and ultimately to come up with innovative solutions to the challenges of the workplace.

Businesses taking part will also benefit from the TET 2.0 period. They gain access to a skilled workforce for a short period of time. Collaboration also increases awareness and attractiveness of the industry in question, making students aware of new professional opportunities when applying for further studies.

In addition, young people provide businesses with new and innovative perspectives to the industry and question the prevailing practices. This way businesses receive direct feedback from their potential product and service users and can take advantage of this information in research and development later on.

One important aspect of TET2.0 is to support the young person's understanding of themself. During the period, students focus on reflecting on what they are good at and how they act in different situations. The aim of the acquired experience during the period is to strengthen young people's confidence, confidence in their skills and develop self-knowledge. Achieving these aims will help young people to choose a and find a suitable education path.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


The innovation updates the traditional period of work experience to meet future needs.


Students learn skills needed in working life while collaborating businesses gain fresh insight.


TET 2.0 can be implemented in very diverse environments if committed persons from schools can be found.

Implementation steps

Choosing the coordinating teacher
Choose a teacher, who will be in charge of coordinating, organizing, implementing and evaluating the TET 2.0 period.

Any teacher in the school can do this, but in high school an easy and natural option is for the study counsellor to take responsibility.

The coordinating teacher must be prepared to work at the interface between working life and the school. It is important to see working life as a learning environment and to understand the significance of the TET 2.0 experience as part of the student's growth towards it.

A team of teachers of different subjects can also be formed to coordinate the period. A team consisting of, for example, a study counselor, a social science teacher, and a teacher of art could be a good combination, offering a variety of pedagogical understanding for the implementation of the period and support for young people.

Planning and engaging the school
The TET 2.0 period consists of three parts:

1) one-day training day for students

2) a one-week work experience period in businesses representing different fields

3) end discussion and reflection

Before this, the coordinating teachers must reserve time for the planning the period.

Planning includes:

  • including the period into the school curriculum

  • informing teaching staff

  • building business collaboration

  • dividing students between the collaborating companies

It is good to reserve about 2-3 months for planning.

Together with the school's management, the study counsellors, and the teacher of the course, plan how the school's structures enable a student's absence for a week. Student learning at workplaces should also be taken into account in completing other courses, in order to understand the TET 2.0 period as being genuinely a part of high school learning.

Organize a meeting with the school's teaching staff on implementing the TET 2.0 period, in order to form a common understanding of what the TET 2.0 course allows for the student and what they can learn during this time.

It is good to engage the teaching staff in implementing the period and explicate the switch between the school’s learning environment to the workplace environment.

Collaboration with businesses and organizations
There are many ways to build collaboration:

  • By applying the existing contacts of the coordinating teachers or study counselors

  • By utilizing regional local newspapers, social media channels and other online forums

  • Mapping business contacts of other school staff and students

  • Communicating to parents of students and participating them in building corporate and organizational contacts and collaboration

  • Involving students' interests and inviting representatives of businesses and organizations to the school to present their work

When the collaborating businesses and organizations have been selected for the TET 2.0 period, a joint meeting can be arranged to discuss TET2.0's objectives and practices.

Training day for students
Organize a one-day training for students before the TET 2.0 period. Training focuses on the objectives of the period and learning innovation and interaction skills.

The purpose of the training day is to empower high school students to step outside the school environment and to use their skills and strengths in learning to be part of their chosen work environment and to participate in its development.

Create an open dialogue, so students realize they already have the knowledge and skills they need during the TET 2.0 period and understand it as an opportunity to learn much more.

Beneficial skills for students to use for the period are courage, strength, and the ability to ask and question. Students should be encouraged to pay attention to these attributes and skills as well as to practice them during the TET2.0 period.

You can practice innovation skills using the Innovation Alphabet below. In this context innovation means a new approach, service or product that brings added value.

The Innovation Alphabet

A = Ask.

Find a good problem to solve or an opportunity to actualize.

B = Brainstorm.

Seek solutions to the problem or for actualizing the opportunity.

C = Choose.

Choose the most potential options from your ideas.

D = Demo or die.

Experiment with one idea at a time in practice as cost-effectively as possible.

E = Experimentation ideas.

If experimenting is costly and/or difficult, you can try to think of new experimentation ideas

F = Feedback.

Experimenting is a tool for learning and a way in itself for gathering feedback. Collect and compile information from the experiment.

G = Gain & Grow.

The feedback takes the implementation forward and reduces uncertainty. Learn from the feedback and develop the idea.

H = High fidelity pilot

After experimenting, you reach a level where the idea can be expected to work. Make a pilot for implementing the idea.

I = Iterate & Illustrate

The innovation process progresses in stages. Repetition, rather than linearity, is characteristic of the different stages of the process, so it is important to remember to document the process, the results as well as learning during and after.

The Innovation Alphabet has been created by Anssi Tuulenmäki of the Aalto University Mind Research Group.

For more information on ordering the Innovation Alphabet and how to use it:
Anssi Tuulenmäki

The manual is subject to a fee.

Dividing the students into innovation teams
Create innovation teams consisting of three students, each of whom goes to one business or organization for the TET 2.0 week.

The coordinating teacher or teacher team assembles innovation teams together with the students. It is good for the team to include students with different personalities and approaches.

Ideally, coordinating teachers have information on students’ education study plans and/or interests and strengths, allowing the TET 2.0 period to be completed in a field, which already interests them. For example, you can map students’ interests in the planning phase before mapping the business partnership options. However, this is not necessary because the TET 2.0 experience may awaken a completely new interest in the student.

One of the members of each student team is responsible for their own team. The nominated person will get in touch with the contact person of the business or organization before the period and, if necessary, agree on a meeting prior to the start of the period. The person in charge also takes care of communication during the period between the business or organization and the students in the team.

Keeping in touch with students during the period
Study counselors or coordinating teachers can communicate with students, for example, by paying a visit to the businesses or organizations. You can also set up social media groups with TET 2.0 students or use a web platform such as Slack.

However, paying a visit is the most effective way and a gesture that shows you are interested. It also offers students the opportunity to share their own experience and to present the business or organization and their own work assignments and responsibilities in an authentic environment.

Oragnize time for reflecting when the work experience period is finished.

It is good to reflect on the experiences of the students, for example, in small group counseling discussions. One of the tasks of reflection and feedback can also be to have a presentation, in which students gather their own group’s experiences into a short presentation.

Invite the other students of the school as well as the teaching staff to watch and hear the presentations. Students may also want to share their experiences in another way. Presentations enable imparting knowledge of working life and skills needed in it to all students and teachers. Teachers can take advantage of the work-related information expressed in presentations in their own teaching and also take into account the experiences of students from working life as matters that affect learning.

Examples of TET 2.0 implementation
Töölön Yhteiskoulu high school partnered up with Finnair, Suunto, Microsoft, Eduhouse, VR, Elisa ja OP, among others.

The businesses and organizations had their own contact person who guided the student team on the first day, laid out the so-called house rules and introduced the students to other staff.

The student team has either had the freedom to find things that they would like to develop or they have been given a challenge or problem, where they could put their problem-solving skills to use.

The students have, without exception, experienced that the businesses and organizations have trusted them and that their thinking and expertise has truly been appreciated.

An important learning experience for both students and staff has been a joint event on the last day of TET 2.0, where students have presented their results, i.e. what they have been able to solve during the week. For example, at VR, students had created a HYMY (SMILE) campaign for staff, at Finnair they came up with solutions to increase sales of supplementary services, and at Eduhouse, students considered how training events could be arranged online.

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