StarT partner country delegates getting awards

LUMA Centre Finland is looking for StarT partner countries!

The internationally awarded StarT competition is organized annually by LUMA Centre Finland, a network of Finnish science and technology universities. Everyone from around the world is welcome to participate in StarT (register here for StarT 2019-20) to get support for carrying out interdisciplinary project-based learning and to share their science, technology and mathematics related best educational practices and students’ projects. However, in a few countries StarT is organized on a national level. These countries are our partner countries and they have a national StarT office that supports the participants locally in their country. In our partner countries the participants register and report their work directly to their national StarT office that organizes the selection of the national best projects and best practices for the international competition.

In StarT 2019-20 our confirmed partner countries are:

  • China
  • Jordan
  • Turkey

Would you like to organize StarT in your country? 

So far we have had participants in StarT from over 40 countries. We are always on the lookout for new partners from countries where there is no national StarT office yet, so if you would be interested in organizing StarT activities in your country, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at!

In our partner countries the local StarT office does the practical arrangements and dissemination of StarT. As a result, the participants can have local support in their native language and local StarT events, such as StarT Festivals. We will provide you with the materials that you can translate, and the framework and schedule for the process.

What does a national StarT office do? 

Everyone wanting to participate in StarT from our partner countries reports their work and registers to their national StarT office, and a national StarT jury established by the national StarT office decides the best national project teams and best educational practices that will participate in the international StarT competition. Last year the LUMA Centre Finland awarded the winners of the main prizes of the international competition with a trip to Finland to receive their awards at the annual StarT gala.

As a national StarT office you can also organize a national StarT Festival in your country, where teachers and students get to present their projects and best practices with each other. In 2018-19, Estonia, China, Jordan and Turkey organized their own national StarT Festivals. In Finland the local LUMA Centres organized 10 regional StarT festivals in 2018-19. You can read below the comment of the representative of StarT Turkey, Nilgün Erentay, about the Turkish StarT Festival: 

“There were many… many students and teachers coming from very far distances by buses with huge parcels, thousands of materials in the early morning of the 27th April, Saturday. There were also parents and public from İstanbul visiting the stands all day long. There were even middle school students coming on their own from far towns in order to set up their stands and make their presentations.

During the certificate ceremony in the afternoon, the hall was so crowded with students and teachers that many people had to stand. We realised 30 workshops, educational presentations and science shows in the classrooms during the festival. There were also many science shows at the stands in the garden. There were 65 project exhibition stands from several schools across Turkey.

We received the thanking letters from teachers afterwards. They point out the fact that the students need such opportunities to expose their efforts.”

About StarT

The delegation of StarT Jordan handed a certificate of appreciation for the Director of LUMA Centre Finland, Prof. Maija Aksela for the fruitful collaboration between the Jordanian Innovation for Creativity Development Association and LUMA Centre through StarT. Photo from the LUMAT Symposium 2019 in Jyväskylä.

If you got interested, contact us at for more information!

The Lithuanian "Health Week" project team receiving their award from the Chair of the LUMA Cantre Finland, prof. Jan Lundell.

The winners of the international awards of StarT 2019: China, Lithuania, Jordan, Portugal and Finland

The International LUMA StarT Gala took place on the 6th of June 2019. The LUMA Centre Finland awards annually three internationally most distinguished science, technology and mathematics related projects by children and youngsters, and three teachers’ best educational practices at the StarT gala. This year the winners came from China, Jordan, Portugal and Finland.  The Director of LUMA Centre Finland, Prof. Maija Aksela and the Chair of the Board of LUMA Centre Finland, Prof. Jan Lundell, handed awards at the gala. Read more about StarT here.

In the winning projects students created e.g. a flash flood alert system, researched the question “When do children feel healthy and happy?” and created a drone from a scratch to enhance its design and function. The winning best educational practices showed how to make use of childrens’ questions through an interdisciplinary approach and how to combine the teaching of statistics, ICT and languages into one project. When assessing the projects, the StarT jury has focused on innovativeness, interdisciplinarity, collaboration and creativity.

The International LUMA StarT Awards were awarded for the third time this year. The internationally awarded StarT programme has been organized by the LUMA Centre Finland, a network of Finnish science, technology and mathematics universities, since 2016. So far we have had participants from over 40 countries.  In 2018-19, 900 learning communities, 2300 teachers and 25 600 children and youngsters have participated in the StarT programme. For the competition we received this year 640 projects and 250 best practices from 17 different countries.

“StarT projects are a terrific way to learn skills and abilities of the future world. To plan, to design, to achieve and to evaluate the outcome of a StarT project is a way to learn to tackle global challenges for a better and more prosperous world. It is the StarT of a curious mind needed to create clever solutions.”, Prof. Lundell, the Chair of the Board of LUMA Centre Finland commented.

The public’s most voted favourite projects and best practices and the most active country of StarT 2018-19 were also awarded at the StarT gala. In addition, the Finnish National StarT Awards were handed.

Winners of the International LUMA StarT Award 2019

Best projects by students, in alphabetical order:

  • Flash Flood Predictor”, students Omar Shishani, Omar Abu Salem and teacher Omar Shaheen. Zarqa University Schools and KG, Jordan
  • Health week project”, students 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 and teacher Rasa Jurgeleviciene. Šiaurės Licėjus, Lithuania
  • Reinventing the drone”, students Vilhelm Toivonen, Arimo Gustafsson, Niilo Viheriäranta, Aapo Leppänen and teachers Johanna Halme, Jari Latva-Teikari and Kaarina Ojasti. Tampereen lyseon lukio, Finland

Winners of the International LUMA StarT Education Award 2019

Best educational practices by teachers, in alphabetical order:

Public’s favourites

Public’s favourite project 2019:

  • ASPAR T-2, students Talha Talip AÇIKGÖZ, Alperen KAHRAMAN and teachers Ertuğrul ÖZAR  and Cüneyt AKYOL. Niğde Akşemseddin Bilim ve Sanat Merkezi, Turkey

Public’s favourite best practice 2019:

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

The most active country 2019

  • The People’s Republic of China. The most active country out of the 20 countries participating in StarT was China with its highest number of participants in StarT 2018-19.

Additional information

  • The comments of the StarT jury can be found here.
  • The composition of the StarT jury 2019 can be found here
  • Photos of the awarded teams for the media can be found here
  • Photos from the gala can be found here
  • Recording of the gala can be found here
  • See the best of StarT 2018-19 here
  • Read more about StarT here:

StarT 2019–2020: registration is open!

We want to thank everyone who participated in the gala and StarT 2018–2019, and we are already eagerly looking forward to seeing what kind of StarT projects you create next school year! 

Register as a learning community for StarT 2019–2020 here! Read more about registering as a StarT learning community here and see our quick guide for teachers here.

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