About StarT

Our motto: “learning is sharing”

StarT invites schools, kindergartens, extracurricular activity groups, and families, as well as other interested institutions and groups, including the media, to join us in sharing the joy of collaborative learning!

In the international StarT, learning communities get support, recognition and awards for carrying out interdisciplinary, collaborative project-based learning.

The international StarT competition has two categories:

  1. Projects by children and youngsters (3-18 y.o.)
  2. Best educational practices by educators (teachers, instructors, parents…)

Everyone can participate annually by reporting their work in the form of short videos and concise learning diaries. Only requirement is a link to science, technology or mathematics and to one of the seven StarT themes. In the assessment criteria students’ active role, collaboration and interdisciplinarity are emphasized. Read more about how to participate in StarT 2018-2019 here.

The StarT programme includes also StarT events (StarT-Days, StarT-Fests and the International LUMA StarT Gala), a virtual science club, and cooperation with StarT ambassadors, corporations and universities.

In StarT, every child and youth can be a Star through Teamwork – welcome along!

Why StarT?

StarT is an exciting and encouraging platform for carrying out projects related to science, technology and mathematics. The versatile StarT themes and requirements for the projects allow the learning communities to take advantage of participating in the StarT process in such a way that supports their needs best.

In the international StarT the teachers and students who have carried out distinguished projects and educational practices are given recognition and visibility on many levels, and best practices and projects are awarded. In 2017 and 2018 the winners of the main prizes were awarded with a memorable trip to Finland!

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, companies and other institutions in their projects. StarT also encourages the use of modern technology as well as that of other learning environments outside of school. In StarT the integration of arts and sciences is promoted, for example through drama in the form of science theatre. The projects and creations in StarT involve combining natural sciences, mathematics, and technology with other disciplines including music, visual arts, drama, languages and sports.

By inviting also other countries to take part, we increase global interaction and bring people together for a great cause. Schools and kindergartens worldwide can also invite their international partner schools from other countries to participate in StarT!

StarT is more than a competition

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 combines inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, and phenomenon-based learning. It promotes an interdisciplinary and interest-driven approach to science, mathematics and technology. The StarT programme aims to increase the joy of innovation and learning across subject boundaries. StarT supports also girls’ interest towards science, technology and mathematics through creative working methods and contexts that students find fascinating.

StarT offers everyone participating plenty of support for carrying out project-based learning. For example, we provide a free virtual science club that anyone can participate in at any time, from anywhere! See the club and the lessons here. We also keep and update a free material bank on our website.

StarT is organized by the LUMA Centre Finland

The owner and main implementer of StarT is LUMA Centre Finland. LUMA Centre Finland is a network of Finnish science and technology universities (12 universities in total), and it organizes StarT in collaboration with sponsors and other collaboration partners, such as corporations.

StarT is a long-term project; since 2016  it has been an important part of the yearly action plan of LUMA Centre Finland.  Through StarT we aim to implement to schools and kindergartens a new, interdisciplinary and collaborative StarT way of working and thinking.

StarT: levels of implementation

There are four levels on which StarT is implemented. Please note that if you want to participate in StarT, only thing we require from international participants is a StarT project (read more about the projects here) – the StarT-Days and StarT-Fests are recommendations. For Finnish participants there are two ways to participate in StarT: the national StarT and the international StarT.

  1. Local level: StarT projects are carried out in kindergartens, primary schools, middle schools, high schools, and extracurricular activity groups. Read more about the project work here.
  2. StarT-Days: young people get to share their work with their own local community, which is wider than the group that created the StarT project
  3. StarT-Fests: regional science festivals where young people get to share their work with an even wider audience – in Finland, StarT-Fests are organized by the regional LUMA Centres. However, also a few other countries have started organizing StarT-Festsread more on the webpage of StarT soon!
  4. International level: we share project work carried out around the world in an annual international public voting and award the best projects and best educational practices annually at the International LUMA StarT Gala. We maintain and share a free material bank for teachers and instructors. The material bank constitutes of the internationally distinguished project work and educational practices, and it is updated annually.

N.B. The instructions found on the English version of the StarT website are only for schools, kindergartens, and extracurricular activity groups participating in the international StarT! Finnish participants can choose to participate in the international StarT and they can find more detailed instructions on the Finnish and Swedish versions of this website.