The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture organised the Nordic Nord StarT Climate Change Competition in autumn 2021. The competition was part of the programme of Finland’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021. Organised in cooperation with the LUMA Centre Finland’s StarT programme, the competition aimed to engage children, young people and adults, all the way from early childhood education and care to higher education, to come up with concrete ways to tackle climate change. Minister of Education Li Andersson congratulated the winners on Wednesday 9 February 2022 at an open online event.
It was possible to enter the Nord StarT competition with projects or practices where different age groups at different educational levels work together. Schools, groups, clubs or any other set of children, young people or adults could enter a good project in the competition showing how to tackle climate change. Teachers were able to participate in the competition by entering a good teaching practice. The competition was designed for all educational levels from early childhood education and care to higher education.
The works of the winners covered a broad range of topics on climate issues from the Bokashi method to sustainable poetry. In her award speech, Minister of Education Li Andersson emphasized the importance of schools offering knowledge and skills to combat climate change.
Environmental issues and climate change are our main societal challenges. Climate change mitigation affects every aspect of society. It is important that schools and educational institutions are able to provide good knowledge and skills to deal with the climate crisis. Effective and research-based sustainability education helps to focus young people’s concerns towards action to tackle the crisis.Minister Andersson
The Nordic jury felt that the winning projects harness scientific practices by means of investigation and lab collaboration, empower students and give a voice to children too. According to the jury, the projects also empower young people to take action by themselves and together with others, and use culture and poetry to showcase children’s and young people’s own thoughts about climate change.
The main prizes amounted to EUR 500.
The winners of the competition are:
- 0 to 5-year-olds Piilometsä early education centre – Bokashi and biocarbon in horticultural cultivation
- 13 to 15-year-olds Vuoksenniska school centre – Young children and climate change
- 16 to 18-year-olds
- Chemistry students at the Rajamäki unit of Nurmijärvi General Upper Secondary School – Toxins in nature
- FIN-CHI Innovation and Education Association – Youth Race-to-Zero Climate Action
- Best teaching practice: Sustainable Poetry. Swedish collaboration between teachers and educators.
The purpose of the Nord StarT competition was to showcase what kinds of visions Nordic children, young people and young adults have about climate change mitigation and to present examples of how to curb climate change. It also aimed to strengthen cooperation and the sense of community among the Nordic countries, develop sustainable development pedagogics and promote curriculum-based activities.