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?
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.
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.
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