The registration for the International StarT Competition begins in early January 2022!

The year is about to end so it is time to think about wonderful time for learning together: the International StarT Competition 2022 is soon here! Participate in the competition with a good teaching practice or a project that deals with natural sciences, mathematics and/or technology.

The registration for the annual International StarT Competition begins on the 3rd of January 2022 and closes on 1st of March. The theme of the year is My LUMA that refers to natural sciences, mathematics and/or tehchnology and the the interaction and cooperation between these disciplines. The aim is that all projects are interdisciplinary and they have a link to the mentioned disciplines.

My LUMA celebrates the creativity and ideas of children and youth. It highlights the multidisciplinarity of daily life and LUMA (STEM/STEAM) phenomena.

Outi Haatainen, StarT Project Manager

Note to the ones that would have been interested in participating Nord StarT Climate Competition but could not participate: Did you already create a climate change themed project to participate in Nord StarT? No worries! Because the My LUMA theme makes many kinds of projects possible, you can participate with a climate change themed project for example.

Are you participating from one of our partner countries (Albania, Azerbaijan, China, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam)? Note that our partner countries might have their own national selection and therefore all participants should report directly to their national StarT office. You can find the partners’ contact information here.

Read more about the International StarT Competition here. Learn together and share your ideas. The best projects and practices will be rewarded!

The StarT team wishes you all merry Christmas and a happy New Year! We will be back in January.

Join Our Online Course on Project-based Learning!

Have you noticed that LUMA Centre Finland is offering you a free online course about project-based learning? The course starts on 1st of November 2021 and it takes 4-5 weeks (c. 25 h of work) to complete. You can sign up to the course the latest on 7th of November.

During the course, the participants will design an interdisciplinary project-based unit that is in line with science education research. You can also participate in the course with a ready project idea and use the course to shape it. The researchers from the University of Helsinki will provide you information about good quality project-based learning and the theory of integrated and inquiry based learning.

The course consists of different topics such as Inquiry and scientific practices in project-based learning and Collaboration in project-based learning. The new topics are introduced weekly including learning materials. Weekly exercises support the designing of the project-based unit.

The course is an excellent kick-start for planning project-based courses and multidisciplinary modules and it offers concrete ideas and support. It also makes it easier to participate in StarT!

Would you like to know more? You can find the course’s information page and the online form for signing in here.

Nordic Nord StarT competition invites children and young people to join in the fight against climate change

The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture is organising the Nordic Nord Start Climate Change Competition in autumn 2021. The competition is 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 aims to gather children, young people and adults, from early childhood education and care to higher education, to brainstorm concrete means for the fight against climate change.

The Nord StarT competition aims 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. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in and a growing concern about climate change. In addition, young people are more socially aware and active than they have been in over two decades, and they want concrete action and solution-oriented climate debate.

It is possible to enter the Nord StarT competition with projects or practices where different age groups and educational levels are working together. Schools, groups, clubs or any other set of children, young people or adults can enter the competition with a good learning practice or project where children and young people show how to fight the climate change. Teachers, instructors and educators play an important role in the creation of teaching practices.

Nord StarT aims to strengthen cooperation and the sense of community among the Nordic countries, to develop sustainable development pedagogics and to promote curriculum-based activities. The competition is designed for all educational levels from early childhood education and care to higher education.

The competition is already underway, and it is possible to enter projects and practices for the competition till 3rd of January 2022. The competition will culminate at the Nordic Conference, and the award ceremony will be held on 9 February 2022. Read more about Nord StarT and how to enter the competition on the competition website.

More information and materials on competition website.

Nordic Council of Ministers
a part of the StarT team in StarT Gala

The winners of the International LUMA StarT -awards were announced in The International StarT Gala.

The LUMA Centre Finland network awarded the best science and technology projects for children, young people and learning communities on Wednesday 9th of June at the International StarT Gala.

The International LUMA Start Awards were presented for the fifth time this year. As in the year before, the gala took place as a virtual live broadcast. In the gala, the International LUMA Start Award 2021 award was presented to the three best natural sciences, math or technology-related project done by children and young people around the world. The International LUMA Start Education Award was presented to three learning communities for best educational practice in relation to the implementation of interdisciplinary, research-based and phenom-based teaching. Winners were awarded in addition to prizes a trip to Finland. The prize trip will take place due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation in June 2022.

The International LUMA StarT Awards went to:

The StarT honorary jury consisting of Prof. Maija Aksela (chair person); Prof. Miia Rannikmäe from University of Tartu, Estonia and Associate prof. Coral Campbell from Deakin University, Australia found the choice incredibly challenging due to the high level of practices and projects. The winning projects took off from real questions and thoughts of children and young people. The projects included cooperation both within their own learning community and also with outsiders. The videos and learning diaries of the projects were first-rate and carefully done.

The International LUMA Start Education Awards went to:

The creators of these practices Liangfeng primary school; João Dias, Mariana Marques and Frederico Valsassina Amaral; Maikku Aho and Teija Lauronen had demonstrated interdisciplinary and innovative work in their practices. The StarT honorary jury described the practices as pragmatic, inventive and versatile. The jury valued interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and the active inclusion of children and young people in the winning practices.

The public’s favourites were also rewarded in the gala. Public’s favourites were Water Rationalization System by WRS youth team from Jordania and The educational program towards a sustainable society by Aldur Almanthour School from Jordania. You can read more about the public’s favourites here.

In the 2020-2021 season a total of 830 project work and 680 educational practices took part in StarT. The joy of learning was shared by 1420 learning communities, 5580 teachers and 14,150 children and young people. This season has reached it’s end but luckily the new season starts right away! The new season comes with two different competitions: the Nord StarT climate change competition in the autumn season and the International LUMA Start Competition in the spring 2022.

Picture of a former StarT-winners

The International LUMA StarT Award and International LUMA StarT Education Award nominees have been chosen

The StarT jury has now made their decision on the ten nominees for the International LUMA StarT Award 2021 and the ten nominees for the International LUMA StarT Education Award 2021. From these nominees, the honorary StarT jury will choose the winners.

The winners will be published in the international StarT gala 9.6. The twenty nominees for the International LUMA StarT Awards were chosen by the StarT jury out of the projects and practices that made it to the public voting. The assessment has been carried out according to the assessment criteria. You can read more about the assessment here. The three project teams receiving the International LUMA StarT Award and the three best practices receiving the International LUMA StarT Education Award will be chosen from these nominees

The International LUMA StarT Education Award 2021 nominees (best educational practice nominees):

  • A PBL Course Exploring Ancient Civilization by Liangfeng primary school, China
  • Curricular projects using the STEAM project-based Learning by ALHuda Secondary School, Palestine
  • Fresh Resource, Fresh Water: The Wutong Mountain Spring Water Protection Plan
    by Yunhai school, China
  • Harvest time by Osman Akça Secondary School, Turkey
  • Manufacture of drawing charcoal by Forssan kuvataidekoulu, Finland
  • Mirrors for Minors and Mirror Experiments by Taipalsaaren kirkonkylän koulu, Finland and Sct. Mariæ Skole, Denmark
  • Protection of Yongding River Old Course in Wetland by Tianjin Yinghua International school, China
  • Recycling of Waste Paper by Fumin Primary School, China
  • STREAM Active Learning through Distance by Al-Rajih School & Kindergarten, Jordan
  • ValsaBIO by Colégio Valsassina, Portugal

The International LUMA StarT Award 2021 nominees (project nominees):

  • Air in my town by OŠ “Miroslav Antić”, Serbia
  • Bio Plastic by Green Revolutioners, India
  • Electronic interactive Silent Carpet for Deaf by Garden of Knowledge Team, Jordan
  • Euch Zitoun 2030 by Euch Zitoun Primary School, Tunisia
  • FOR “YOU” –  SUSTAINABEE by Ari private schools, Turkey
  • Jewelry designer by Yantian institution of Education and Science Kindergarten of Shenzhen, China
  • Mask Minder by Loreto College Mullingar, Ireland 
  • Projekt Neptun by Primarschule Wolfhausen, Switzerland
  • The project of exploring Sha Tau Kok river by Middle school in China
  • Upper secondary students’ climate calculator for greenhouse gas emissions by Haukiputaan lukio, Finland

Congratulations to all nominees! It is a great accomplishment to be chosen amongst the hundreds and hundreds projects and best practices as a nominee. You can find more information of the nominees here.

Amongst these splendid nominees the honorary StarT jury will be making the decision on the winning teams. The honorary StarT jury consists this year of Prof. Maija Aksela (chair person); Prof. Miia Rannikmäe from University of Tartu, Estonia and Associate prof. Coral Campbell from Deakin University, Australia. 

The winners will be announced in the annual StarT gala that will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19. In the International StarT Gala the three best educational practices will be awarded with the International LUMA StarT Education Award and three projects with the International LUMA StarT Award. The Gala will be held virtually on June 9th as a part of the LUMAT Symposium 2021. Read more about the StarT gala here.

Public’s favourites have been chosen

We have published 61 videos of StarT projects by students and best educational practices by teachers on our Padlet. Now a public voting has been carried out among these videos. We hope that these videos have been inspiration towards project based learning all around the world.

In this season of StarT there were about 1000 learning communities from 35 different countries from all around the world. In the public voting we had 37 projects and 24 practices. Just to be nominated in the public voting is a great achievement itself. You can see videos of projects here and videos of best practices here.

The international public voting has ended on April 15th. Public voting of StarT 2020-2021 was ongoing on our Padlet platform  from the 22nd of March until the 15th of April 2021. During this time everyone had the opportunity to participate by liking their favourite videos. Based on the number of likes the videos received by the 15th of April we have made the decision of public’s favourites. Even though the videos are still available and it is possible to like them, any votes given after the 15th of April have not been taken to account.

Public voting is serving its’ purpose: sharing the discoveries and innovations created by both young people and passionate educators around the world!

The favourite projects of the public

Public’s favourite projects was by the incredible amount of votes, 19 918, Water Rationalization System by WRS youth team from Jordania! Congratulations to the public’s favourite project!

The favourite best practice of the public

The most liked educational practice got 2 722 votes, which is surely impressive! The public’s favourite educational practice is The educational program towards a sustainable society by Aldur Almanthour School from Jordania! Congratulations on your designation as a public’s favourite!

Warm congratulations to public’s favourites for the year 2020-2021!

The annual international StarT gala will be held on 9th of June. There, the best projects and educational practices will be announced. The gala will be held virtually so everyone can participate! Read more about the gala here.

Students looking at projects on laptop.

The StarT Public Voting starts on March 22nd.

The LUMA Centre Finland welcomes everyone to take part in the public voting of StarT 2020-2021. Due to the pandemic the voting starts a little later this year. Videos of the projects and best practices of this season’s StarT will be released on our Padlet on March 22nd.

The StarT programme was launched in 2016 by the LUMA Centre Finland and their collaborators to support the implementation of interdisciplinary project-based learning in accordance to the newest national core curriculum of Finland. StarT is aimed for learning communities ranging from early childhood education to upper secondary schools.

The long-term goal of StarT is to establish the collaborative StarT model into the annual activities of schools and other learning communities. The StarT teams consisting of children and youngsters from kindergartens, schools, extracurricular groups and homes share the joy of learning in the national and international StarT community, which consisted of over 1000 learning communities from over 35 different countries in this season alone.

We have now published the videos of the StarT projects and best practices that the learning created have produced on our Padlet. The videos celebrate the joy of learning and share the excitement of students’ discoveries! Click the links below and vote!

Students’ projects

Teachers’ best educational practices

The goal of the public voting is to share joy and ideas but also to make it possible for everyone to participate. Like the video on our Padlet that in your opinion is the best project or best educational practice. Like that everyone can vote simply by giving a like! The public voting time is from 22nd of March to 15th of April!

Children communicating over a geometric problem.

A free online course on project-based learning will open on the 1st of March 2021

Would you like to get support for designing your own project-based learning unit in line with current research into science education? Would you like to discuss and share ideas with teachers from other countries? 

If you answered yes then this is an opportunity just for you. LUMA Centre Finland, a network of Finnish universities, offers a free online course on project-based learning (PBL) for all teachers and educators from early childhood education to upper secondary schools. 

Very good course, really provide to me important aspects to really apply PBL approach in my courses.


The free online course “Project-based learning and the theory behind it – create your own project!” begins on the 1st of March 2021. The course is designed to support the participants in the creation of a project-based unit that is in line with science education research, and you will learn about the essential features of PBL. The course is worth one credit (25h of work), divided across 4-5 weeks.

 I enjoyed a lot in completing assignments for this course. I have already prepared a new project for my students even if pandemics continue.


Sign up to the course by filling out an online form here. If you have any questions, please contact us via email

The course is a part of the StarT programme. In StarT students learn together by carrying out interdisciplinary projects related to science, technology or mathematics. The programme  offers support to teachers implementing PBL in their teaching.  

The course is provided by Prof. Maija Aksela (University of Helsinki) and project manager, Outi Haatainen (University of Helsinki) from LUMA center Finland.

Want to know more? Please click on the links below. 

Children looking at the presentation of their StarT-project

The registration to StarT ends this week

The registration to StarT ends this week. You still have time to participate in StarT by registrating by February 14th .
You and your students can participate in the international StarT by describing students’ projects and/or the best practice of your learning community. Participate now for a chance to get awards and visibility for your and your students’ innovations! There is already almost 300 learning communities from 31 different countries registered in StarT 2020-2021.

StarT is a programme that offers support for educators in implementing interdisciplinary and collaborative learning. Project-based learning is a great way to let your students explore interesting phenomena and get exciting real-life experiences of science, technology and mathematics.

1. Projects by children and youngsters
StarT projects are made by student teams (3-19 y.o.). StarT projects give teams of children and youngsters a chance to show their expertise, and to make use of their own interests and creativity. To participate we will ask you to share with us a short video describing the project and a concise learning diary.

2. Best educational practices by learning communities
A teacher (or a parent or other educator) can participate in StarT by themselves or together with their colleagues also by describing a best educational practice. A best practice is an educational practice or a model that the learning community has tried and found useful in implementing interdisciplinary and project-based learning or their StarT projects. The best practices should have a link to science, technology or mathematics.

If you have not yet registered in the StarT-program, you can do it with this online form, where you will provide information about your contact details and the project work of children and youngsters and/or the good educational practice that you have implemented.

If you’re already registered as a StarT learning community, awesome!
Those who have already registered report by telling us about the projects/best practice they have implemented through the “group’s open registration link” contained in the confirmation email received at the time of registering. The link has been sent to everyone who has already registered again by email. If the message cannot be found, please email us:

Read more:

The StarT team will also answer your questions by email:
Welcome to share the joy of learning!

Finnish winter

Happy new year 2021

StarT’s spring season has begun. Spring will be full of joy of learning together. Welcome! 

2021 is the Year of Research-Based Learning in Finland. During the Year of Research-Based Knowledge 2021, different Finnish organisations from associations to educational institutions and from research organisations to enterprises will offer research-based knowledge, actions and events to everyone.

There’s still time to sign up for the 2020-2021 season of StarT! You can apply to the International StarT Competition until 14 February 2021. Participating is done by reporting a good educational practice or project made by your learning community.  If you haven’t registered for StarT yet, you can do it with this online form. If you have already registered, a link can be found in your email. More information about applying and how to do it can be found here.

Here you can see a visual model of StarT process:

StarT is offering an online course again this spring. A free online training on project-based learning is coming in February. You can read about the previous course here. The registering for the course starts in January and all the necessary links will be found from the previous link. 

You can read more about StarT’s events here. StarT wishes everyone joyful learning experiences for the upcoming year!