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!

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.

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 (3-19 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 (projects)  or short videos and comprehensive written descriptions (best practices). The topic of the projects is free of choice; the oly requirement is a link to science, technology or mathematics. In the assessment criteria students’ active role, collaboration and interdisciplinarity are emphasized. 

The StarT programme includes also StarT events (StarT Days, StarT Festivals and the International LUMA StarT Gala), a virtual science club, and cooperation with StarT ambassadors, corporations and universities. We even have official StarT partner countries where StarT is organized on a national level.

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

Why StarT?

StarT is an exciting and encouraging platform that supports carrying out projects related to science, technology and mathematics. The 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. 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.

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 to receive their awards at the StarT Gala.

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. Read more about our aims and the implementation of StarT here.

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.

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.