StarT receives an international STEM education award

We are proud to announce that the StarT programme has been awarded in an international competition that seeks best practices for education and working life collaboration!  

StarT is a science education programme by the LUMA Centre Finland and it has now been granted the Global Best Awards 2018 as Europe’s best programme bridging the gap between working life and STEM education at schools. Director of the LUMA Centre Finland prof. Maija Aksela, StarT international project manager Anette Markula, Chair of the board prof. Jan Lundell and StarT national project manager Outi Haatainen (from left to right in the photo above) travelled to Houston, Texas to receive the awards at the International Partnership Network (IPN) conference in Houston, Texas.

The Global Best Awards 2018 winners were chosen around the world in six categories, and StarT was awarded as Europe’s best in the STEM (”Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”) category. The award was also granted to the Norwegian “Girls and Technology” project. The criteria for the award was that the winner engages young people to STEM related careers and improves their employability in these fields.

StarT is an international and collaborative education initiative in which everyone learns together through interdisciplinary project-based learning. StarT supports children and youngsters and teachers with their science, technology and mathematics projects on all levels of education internationally.

The Director of the LUMA Centre Finland, professor Maija Aksela from the University of Helsinki considers the prize as a remarkable recognition for Finnish science education.

– This international award is a fantastic recognition for the LUMA Centre Finland – a network of 11 universities – for our collaborative and international operational culture. In our initiatives the newest findings from research are creatively transformed into initiatives that benefit children and youngsters, the stars of the future. In StarT we learn from each other through different cultures and create together a better world, Aksela says.

LUMA Centre Finland launched the StarT programme together with their partners in honour of Finland’s centenary in 2016 with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö as the official patron of the programme. Annually over 50 cooperation partners of LUMA Centre Finland have contributed to the programme. The signing up for this year’s StarT is now open on StarT’s webpage. Since 2016 the StarT participants have been from over 40 countries around the world.

We want to thank all our collaboration partners and participants! 

More photos from the conference

Contact details for StarT team

The representatives from LUMA Centre Finland receiving the award in the Houston Space Centre. In the photo from left to right: astronaut Bill McArthur, Jan Lundell, Outi Haatainen, Johnson Space Center’s former director George Abbey, Maija Aksela, Anette Markula and the chair of the IPN2018 conference Bruce Van Dyk.


Join us in carrying out exciting projects and sharing the joy of learning! Participate in StarT 2018-19! 


Have you checked out our online courses on project-based learning yet? Participate here!