In the StarT-programme, we offer learning communities support, recognition and awards for carrying out interdisciplinary, collaborative project-based learning. We invite schools, kindergartens and other learning communities as well as other interested to join us in sharing the joy of collaborative learning!
Everyone can participate to StarT-programme by reporting their work. We encourage the learning communities to participate the StarT process in a way that best supports their needs. The topic of the projects is free of choice; the only requirement is that it links somehow to science, technology or mathematics. Furthermore, students’ active role, collaboration and interdisciplinarity are emphasized.
In the StarT-competition, teachers and students who have carried out projects receive recognition and visibility on many levels, and best practices and projects are even awarded.
StarT is an exciting and encouraging platform that supports carrying out projects related to science, technology and mathematics. The StarT way of working and thinking is based on research and it empowers children and youngsters to use science, technology, mathematics and 21st century skills in order to solve real-life issues related to their own lives and future.
We encourage all the participants to base their projects in the questions and interests of the students. In addition to that, we hope to motivate the StarT participants to cooperate with e.g. other schools, universities, organizations, and companies. StarT also encourages the use of modern technology as well as taking learning to environments outside of school. The projects and creations in StarT involve combining natural sciences, mathematics, and technology with other disciplines including music, visual arts, drama, languages and sports.
StarT has received the international “Global Best Awards 2018” award as the best STEM education initiative bridging the gap between education and working life in Europe (STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) at the IPN2018.
Aims and implementation
We aim to implement a new interdisciplinary, collaborative StarT way of working and thinking to schools. It is based on research and enforced by the newest core curriculum of Finland. StarT is operated by LUMA Centre Finland, which is a network of Finnish universities. We are working on to ensure the high quality of science, technology and mathematics teaching in Finland.
Through StarT we also aim to encourage young people to take up an interest in science, technology and mathematics and to strengthen their science skills.
StarT is more than a competition
The international StarT-competition has two categories:
- Projects by children and youngsters (3-19 y.o.)
- Best educational practices by educators (teachers, instructors, parents…)
Even though the form of the international StarT is a competition, StarT is a lot more than that: it is a medium for bringing people from across the world together to share the joy of learning! StarT is exceptional as everyone learns together as a learning community by carrying out phenomenon-based and cross-curricular projects. Furthermore, in StarT different learning communities share their best educational practices.
To understand and improve what we do on StarT-programme, we carry out research related project-based learning. Below are listed some published articles related to StarT-activities. For a more comprensive list, see LUMA Centre Finland’s website.
- Haatainen, O., & Aksela, M. (2021). Project-based learning in integrated science education: Active teachers’ perceptions and practices. LUMAT: International Journal on Math, Science and Technology Education, 9(1), 149–173. https://doi.org/10.31129/LUMAT.9.1.1392
- Aksela, M. K. & Haatainen, O. M. (2019). Project-Based Learning (PBL) in Practise: Active Teachers’ Views of Its’ Advantages And Challenges. Integrated Education for the Real World: 5th International STEM in Education Conference Post-Conference Proceedings. The Queensland University of Technology, p. 9-16 8 p.
- Markula, A. (2019). Interdisciplinary biology teaching through project-based learning: the design of a MOOC for teachers. Master’s thesis. Helsinki: The University of Helsinki.
- Viro, E., & Joutsenlahti, J. (2018). The StarT Project Competition from the Perspective of Mathematics and Academic Literacy. Educ. Sci. 8(2), 67..
StarT is organized by the LUMA Centre Finland
The owner of StarT is LUMA Centre Finland, a network of Finnish 11 science and technology universities. StarT has been an important part of its yearly action plan since 2016.The StarT-programme is organized in collaboration with sponsors and other collaboration partners.
You can reach the whole team through our shared email: luma-keskus((at))helsinki.fi
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Director of StarT and the LUMA Centre Finland
- Prof., Ph.D. Maija Aksela
- University of Helsinki, Finland / LUMA Centre Finland
- More in University of Helsinki Research Portal