Pupils making pussles

Registration to StarT 2019-2020 is now open!

Register now as a StarT learning community and get support, ideas and recognition for carrying out interdisciplinary and collaborative project-based learning!

Click here to register for StarT 2019-2020!

The LUMA Centre Finland would like to invite schools, kindergartens, extracurricular activity groups and families from all around the world to share the joy of learning with us!  In StarT, teachers’ best educational practices and innovative project-work of children and youngsters are shared and celebrated internationally, with awards and publicity. What is more, along the way we offer our participants support for carrying out interdisciplinary project-based learning! Click here to learn more about the support we offer.

In StarT, children and youngsters carry out interdisciplinary projects related to science, technology or mathematics in groups. The international StarT has two categories:

  1. projects by children and youngsters (3-18 y.o.)
  2. best educational practices by teachers (or other instructors/parents)

The topic of the projects can be anything you can think of, as long as the project has a link to science, technology or mathematics. The StarT project themes for the upcoming year have been chosen to support participants in carrying out projects related to technology, mathematics and natural sciences. What is more, the theme “My LUMA” leaves it entirely up to the participants to choose their project topic. In the assessment the StarT jury will consider the equal representation of all themes among the nominees of the main prizes.

The StarT themes 2019-2021:

  1. Sustainable development (eg. climate change and circular economy)
  2. Mathematics around us (eg. mathematics in art and statistics)
  3. Technology around us (eg. “This works!” a moving device, artificial intelligence and robotics)
  4. My LUMA (topic free of choice)

The StarT projects are reported in the form of short videos and learning diaries at the latest in February 2020 (see the more precise schedule here). Teachers’ best educational practices are also reported as short videos and as written descriptions that serve as a “recipe” for other teachers to implement their best practice.

The project and best practice videos are shared globally through the international public voting on Youtube. The international StarT jury will decide in spring 2020 which projects and best practices will be awarded with the honoured International LUMA StarT Awards (projects) and International LUMA StarT Education Awards (best practices). In 2017, 2018 and 2019 the main prize included a trip to Finland. The grand finale of StarT is annually the International LUMA StarT Gala, where awards are given to the most distinguished teams.

Learning communities participating in StarT are also encouraged to organize StarT Days, which are events where the students and teachers share their work with their local community. StarT Festivals are bigger events, where the work of young people and teachers is shared and celebrated on a regional or national level.

The primary objective of StarT is to implement a new, interdisciplinary and collaborative StarT way of working and thinking to schools, based on research and in accordance to the newest core curriculum of Finland. The StarT process is easy to fit in your own plans and tailor suitable for you, and it is aimed for all levels of education from all around the world. In StarT, every child is a star through teamwork – welcome along!

Subscribe to the StarT newsletter here
Register as a StarT learning community here

Read our quick guide to StarT for teachers here

Nominees 2019: See the final twenty contestants of the International LUMA StarT Awards!

The International LUMA StarT Award nominees have been chosen ‒ get inspired by the top-quality science, technology and mathematics projects and educational practices from all around the world!

The LUMA Centre Finland is proud to share the top ten best educational practices and projects carried out in learning communities across the world in 2018‒2019. The videos of these twenty nominees introduce educational practices worth noting and present inspiring ideas for carrying out interdisciplinary project-based learning in schools and kindergartens. Have a look and let the videos of the top contestants of StarT inspire you!

The International LUMA StarT Awards will be awarded for the third time at the University of Jyväskylä on the 6th of June 2019. In StarT learning communities from all around the world share their interdisciplinary science, technology or mathematics related projects and educational practices with us, and we at StarT share them with the rest of the world. This year, we received altogether 640 projects and 250 best practices from ca 20 countries. The StarT jury has now decided the final 20 contestants continuing to compete for the International LUMA StarT Awards, and the public chosen their two favourites.

The nominees for the International LUMA StarT Awards 2019

The StarT jury has now made their decision on the International LUMA StarT Award nominees out of the projects and best practices that made it to the international public voting. StarT has two award categories: 1) International LUMA StarT Award, which is given for the top three projects by children and youngsters 2) International LUMA StarT Education Award, which is given for the top three best educational practices by teachers. The StarT jury has chosen ten nominees for both of the award categories, and the final winners of the awards will be chosen from the nominees by the honorary StarT jury. The members of the international honorary StarT jury are this year:

  • Chair: Prof. Maija Aksela, Director of the LUMA Centre Finland
  • Dr. Jun Wang, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Psychology from Beijing Normal University in China
  • Dr. Angela James, Senior Lecturer in Science Education from the University of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa.
  • Secretary: Anette Markula, International Project Manager of StarT

As such, the nominee videos are the international top twenty videos reported to StarT 2018-2019, and they convey exemplary science, technology and mathematics related educational practices that take use of an interdisciplinary approach, and promote collaborative learning and active learning in general. By watching the videos everyone can benefit from pedagogical innovations created across the world, and make use of the inspirational ideas and exciting methods for carrying out project-based learning.

The International LUMA StarT Education Award Nominees (best practice nominees): 

“Grow your own food! Dare to try it (even in the moon)! – a 3th and 4th grades approach to STEM”, 3rd and 4th grades – EB1/JI de São Bartolomeu de Regatos (Anabela Santos), Portugal

“Legend Towers” , Bahçeşehir Preschool (Macide IŞIK, Emine Medine BOZ, Sinem ERENER ÜNAL, Kevser GÜNEYLİ, Yasemin Güzin KOCA), Turkey

“Math in Our Life”, Arar the Pioneer – Arar Academy schools (Ghazal Qawasmeh, Bara’ Sarhan, Lamar Obeidat, Yousef Abed, Khalid Fayyad, Wafa’ Moh’d Bader Sa’d Batieneh), Jordan

“Physics Day in Amusement Park”, Irbid Preparatory Girls School (Smar Hasan Murshid Nazzal, Sawsan Faeq Sabbah, Yara Jamal Subhi, Khalid Mustafa Ghaben), Jordan

“STEAM-approach in education using augmented reality technology: “AR – travel around the towers””, Secondary School №8 (Olena Kovalova, Oksana Galusinskaja, Olena Shapovalova, Inna Derevianko, Olga Batkilina, Svitlana Grytsai, Viktoriia Kalinina), Ukraine

“Stem & Younger in Clima Action”, (Erviola Konomi), Albania

“The Great Starry Sky”, Wanhong Primary School League,(Minyan Lu, Guifen Qian, Jie Chen, Jinxiang Liu, Xufeng Sun, Naihua Wei), China

“The Way of A Silk’s Artistic Life”, Dongzhu Experimental Primary School of Suzhou (Lu Xiaojia, Gu Weiyi, Jiang Huiping Xiaorong, Yang Xiaoxian, Zhang Lei), China

“Theatre for science”, GD-GSR (gestion déléguée du groupe scolaire la Résidence) (Fouad El Haski, Hachim Mortaqi, Rachid Wahabi ), Morocco

“Young people learning statistics”, Keminmaan keskuskoulu (Aira Karassaari, Hanna Littow),Finland

The International LUMA StarT Award Nominees (project nominees):

“ASPAR T-2”, Niğde Akşemseddin Bilim ve Sanat Merkezi (Talha Talip AÇIKGÖZ, Alperen KAHRAMAN), Turkey

“Caring for pets- intelligent feeding appliance driven by web of things”, Suzhou Jinchang Foreign Language Experimental School (Yilin Wang, Shiwen Min, Yuxuan Lu, Zejun Zhou, Zhaojun Xie, Yuxuan Ou’yang), China

“Flash Flood Predictor”, Zarqa University Schools and KG (Omar Shishani, Omar Abu Salem, Omar Shaheen), Jordan

“From the acorn to the oak”, Rokiskis Senamiestis Progymnasium (Afanasjeva Austeja, Bunevicius Augustas, Saccani Matteo, Sapagova Samanta, Semenas Kajus, Truksnyte Urte, Vasiliauskaite Emilija, Vasiliauskaite Fausta, Vasiliauskaite Kamile, Zavarskyte Karina), Lithuania

“Health week project”, ŠIAURĖS LICĖJUS (Anele Ganusauskaite, Sofija Ganusauskaite, Simas Kudarauskas, Paulius Kvedaras, Izabele Trotaite, Arune Navickaite, Gerda Sezenytre, Saule Kasparaviciute, Dziugas Siautkulis, Jokubas Garlauskas, Elze Bartkeviciute, Liepa Morkunaite, Kostas Korsakovas, Akmeja Tilvikaite), Lithuania

“Mind Controlled Car”, FISTA (Manu Kiiskilä, Sampo Lassila, Iiro Pekkarinen), Finland

“Planting By Using Artificial Lighting with Different Wavelengths”, The Shiny Light (Sondos Al-Mhesn, Haneen Al-Masalek, Dania Al-Qasire, Adan Al-Badnde), Jordan

“Reinventing the drone”, Tampereen lyseon lukio (Vilhelm Toivonen, Arimo Gustafsson, Niilo Viheriäranta, Aapo Leppänen), Finland

“Water for Life”, Blue World (Raihan Ahmad Shahab, Raisya Amira Maher, Aldebran Daffa Yudha Cahyadi , Bintang Rifqi Maulana DS, Aleena Rahma Shahab), Indonesia

“Waterx”, Green Group (Ayoub Dadani, Nouamane Ait Daoud, Khalil Admi, Aberrahmane Driouch, Houssam Azzouz), Morocco

Welcome to the International LUMA StarT Gala on the 6th of June in Jyväskylä, Finland!

The final six winners of the International LUMA StarT Awards will be awarded with a trip to Finland to receive their awards and diplomas at the international LUMA StarT gala. The gala is the grand final of both the national and international StarT every year. This year the gala will take place at the University of Jyväskylä on the 6th of June 2019, as a part of the international LUMAT Symposium and the national LUMA Days. Everyone is warmly welcome to participate in the gala! There gala will also be livestreamed, so that everyone in the world can watch it online. Register to the symposium and the gala here until the 26th of May. Watch the gala livestream here.

Remember: registering as a learning community for the StarT 2019–2020 starts in May!

StarT is organized annually, and we invite all learning communities from daycares to upper secondary schools and extracurricular activity groups to share their best educational practices and projects related to science with us! Registering for the StarT 2019–2020 starts in May, and you can find more information here. Registering does not bind you to anything, but instead you will receive additional support and inspiration for carrying out exciting interdisciplinary project-based learning in your learning community. Welcome along, everyone!

Pupils working on their “ASPAR T-2” project

The favourites of the public 2019 have been chosen!

The international public voting of StarT 2019 was ongoing on our Youtube channel from the 18th of March until the 7th of April 2019. During this time everyone could share the videos and give likes for their favourites. Based on the number of likes and times the videos have been viewed, we are proud to announce that the favourites of the public 2019 are…

  • The project “ASPAR T-2” by Turkish students from Merkez, Turkey! Congratulations to the students Talha Talip AÇIKGÖZ and Alperen KAHRAMAN from Niğde Akşemseddin Bilim ve Sanat Merkezi! Congratulations also to the supervisors of the project, Ertuğrul ÖZAR and Cüneyt AKYOL! Watch their video below:
  • The best practice “Theatre for science” from GD-GSR (gestion déléguée du groupe scolaire la Résidence) learning community form Benguerir! Congratulations to the implementers, Fouad El Haski, Hachim Mortaqi and Rachid Wahabi! Watch their video below:

The “ASPAR T-2” project was carried out by a group of innovative upper secondary school students from Merkez, Turkey. Students Talha Talip and Alperen wanted to improve the design and functionality of wheelchairs, especially for disabled people without for example fingers or hands. This is how the students describe their project:

“The aim of the project is to provide disabled people who cannot control wheelchairs (with no fingers and arms) with the use of wearable technology to control the wheelchairs without needing help from anyone else. At the same time, we aimed to enable people with disabilities to move without needing others in the face of wheelchairs, door sills, ramps and pavements in public transport. In this context, using the wearable technologies, it is ensured that the wheelchair is controlled with sensors that detect arm movement. While doing all this, the interdisciplinary approach in the fields of software, design, mechatronics, robotics and science has been focused. In the process, ideas were gathered from various experts and non-governmental organizations.”

Theatre for science” is a best practice in which students take humankind to court for causing climate change. The events in the courtroom are displayed in the form of a play, and the students have prepared for the play by exploring the “scientific debate on the controversy of global warming and water depletion” and creating arguments based on scientific evidence. Watch their video to learn more about this inspiring way to approach climate change and scientific debate in classrooms! The teachers have also shared a report describing their best practice which you can access here.

Also the rest of the videos gained an admirable number of views and likes, and we at StarT are really happy to see that the public voting is serving its’ purpose: sharing the discoveries and innovations created by both young people and passionate educators around the world! Hopefully the videos have helped you by offering plenty of ideas and inspiration for carrying out project-based learning in your own learning communities! You can still see the rest of the videos on our Youtube channel (click here for teachers’ best practices and here for students’ projects).

Once more, a big thank you for everyone for sharing your great pedagogical innovations and wonderful projects with us and the rest of the world, and for participating in the international public voting!

The winners of the LUMA StarT Awards will be published in the International LUMA StarT Gala 2019

Next step in the StarT 2018–2019 is the announcement of the twenty nominees that continue on to compete for the main prizes of StarT. The StarT jury consisting of several people is now busy making their decision on the nominees, and they’ll consider your votes when making this decision. On the 16th of April 2019, we will announce the 10 best project nominees and 10 best educational practice nominees. From these 20 nominees, the honorary StarT jury will make the final decision as to who will receive the awards of the international StarT 2018–2019.

As such, please note that even though being named as the public’s favourite or a nominee is an incredible achievement and truly something to be proud of, it does not mean that the group has won the grand prize (the International LUMA StarT Award or Education Award). The International LUMA StarT Award will be given to three project teams and the International LUMA StarT Education Award for three best practices, and these six groups are the ones that will be winning the trip to Finland to receive their awards in the International LUMA StarT Gala.

The International LUMA StarT Gala is on the 6th of June 2019 in Jyväskylä, Finland. The gala is free of charge and everyone is welcome to participate in it. Unfortunately, we can only cover the travel costs of the six  teams receiving the International LUMA StarT Awards, but everyone can watch the livestream of the gala online. Read more about the gala and find the links to watch it here (the link to the livestream of the gala will be added later).

Also, remember to register as a learning community to the StarT 2019-2020 from May onwards! By registering you will receive additional information and support for carrying out StarT projects in your learning community.

First photo: Theatre for Science

The Finnish Science on Stage representatives have been chosen

This year the selection of Finnish teachers for the European Science on Stage Festival was carried out through StarT read more below to get to know the Finnish team!

Science on Stage Festival 2019 will be held from 31 October to 3 November 2019 in Cascais, Portugal. Science on Stage (=SonS) festival is the largest European educational fair for STEM teachers, and the biennual festivals gather together around 450 primary and secondary school teachers from 33 countries. Just like in StarT, also in SonS the idea is that teachers get to share their innovative STEM-related educational practices with other teachers. At the festivals the teachers share their work in a fair, workshops and performances. You can read more about SonS here.

The Finnish Science on Stage jury chose the following best practices in a two-phased assessment process to represent Finland in SonS Festival 2019:

Kalevala goes science, Joutsan yhtenäiskoulu

Kalevala goes science turns the national epic of Finland, Kalevala, into a series of science projects. The teachers thought that literature always plays a secondary role in interdisciplinary projects, and decided to take the national epic of Finland as the starting point of their science-related inquiries. Their approach produced extraordinary research projects as students researched the scientific basis for the mythical stories of Kalevala. Can you really make an instrument out of the jaw of a pike, and would it actually be possible to live inside an animal’s stomach?

You can watch the best practice video of Kalevala goes science here.

Play a role and learn, Kindergarten Piilometsä

Kindergarten Piilometsä participated with a best practice describing their educational approach that focuses on using inquiry-based approaches in which role play and outdoor learning are central. The children get to know about different topics by role play: if space is the topic of the day, they will naturally build a space station out of snow and act as the astronauts there. An important part of the activities in Piilometsä is also taking learning activities outside to the area surrounding the kindergarten.

You can watch the best practice video of Play a role and learn here. It describes four different projects Piilometsä did with their role play approach.

Young people learning statistics, Keminmaan keskuskoulu

Statistics is everywhere, and it plays a major role in research. It is also a great starting point for an interdisciplinary research project. The teachers at Keminmaan keskuskoulu have worked with their best practice for years and are still excited to see the students’s research projects every year. Their best practice is also easy to carry out in any school, as all the stages of the best practice can be carried out by using Google’s free of cost services. Students create a questionnaire with Forms, do the maths with Sheets, prepare a presentation with Slides and write their report and an article for the local paper with Docs.

Watch the best practice video of Young people learning statistics here.

Exercise, well-being and measuring course in Teacher Trainer school, University of Jyväskylä Teacher Training School

It is so much more interesting to learn about well-being, human biology and conductivity when you can make measurements from your own body! Keeping this thought in mind, the teachers at the Jyväskylä Teacher Training School created this interdisciplinary course for their upper secondary school students. During the course students measure things from their own bodies with modern sensor technology and their phones, and use the data to learn more about the studied phenomena.

The video of Exercise, well-being and measuring course in Teacher Trainer school is not available as the best practice did not proceed to the selection of the StarT nominees 2019.

The Finnish SonS jury

The Finnish SonS jury consisted of the following people:

  • Prof. Maija Aksela, Director of the LUMA Centre Finland
  • Outi Haatainen, PhD Candidate, National StarT Project Manager, LUMA Centre Finland
  • Irma Hannula, PhD, member of the Finnish national SonS Committee
  • Teijo Koljonen, Counsellor of Education, Finnish National Board of Education, member of the Finnish national SonS Committee
  • Anette Markula, International StarT Project Manager, LUMA Centre Finland
  • Kalle Vähä-Heikkilä, teacher at the Lauttakylä upper secondary school, Finnish SonS representative 2017

Congratulations for the winners and thank you to everyone who participated in the selection from Finland by sharing their best educational practice with us in English!

Photo credits: Young people learning statistics