About StarT

Learning is sharing – everyone is invited! 

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

In the international StarT, learning communities get support and recognition for carrying out interdisciplinary, collaborative project-based learning. We provide everyone participating with free ideas and inspiration for project work related to science, mathematics and technology, and share your ideas further!

StarT is an exciting and encouraging platform for carrying out projects related to these topics. The versatile 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 best practices are given recognition and visibility on many levels, and best practices and projects are awarded. Read more about how to participate here.

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


StarT is organized by the LUMA Centre Finland

The owner and main implementer of the project is LUMA Centre Finland. LUMA Centre Finland is a network of Finnish universities that organizes StarT annually in collaboration with our sponsors and other collaboration partners.

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 have more positive experiences of collaborative project-based learning in science, technology and mathematics also in the future!


StarT promotes interdisciplinary collaborative learning

The primary objective of StarT is to implement to schools and kindergartens a new, interdisciplinary and collaborative StarT way of working and thinking. In StarT, we emphasize the importance of active collaboration on many levels.

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. StarT also encourages the use of modern technology as well as that of other learning environments outside of school. 

StarT supports girls’ interest towards science, technology and mathematics through creative working methods and contexts that students find fascinating.


The joy of interdisciplinary innovations all around the world

The StarT programme aims to increase the joy of innovation and learning across subject boundaries. It encourages proactive, creative and innovative collaboration between different groups, individuals, and schools from all around the world.

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

StarT hopes to achieve children’s enhanced understanding of one’s home country as well as other cultures; this will result in increased tolerance and bring people from all around the world closer to each other.

Project-based learning: collaboration and creativity

The StarT project promotes courageous experimentation and interdisciplinary project-based learning. The StarT way of thinking and working supports schools in their development into active, collaborational learning communities. 

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, and sports.

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-Fests – read 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. 


StarT events: sharing and learning

Learning communities participating in StarT are encouraged to organize StarT-Days and StarT-Fests, where the student teams can share their projects and ideas with others. The StarT Day can be an event of any size and form: some learning communities might choose to share their ideas within their own learning community, for example during a school break or a theme day, whereas others might invite neighbouring schools, parents and local actors to come see their projects. StarT-Fests are larger, regional science festivals where students get to share their work with a wider audience – in Finland they are organized by the regional LUMA Centres, but in your country you could for example bring schools nearby together for a shared celebration of students’ creations! 

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.