StarT receives an international STEM education award

We are proud to announce that the StarT programme has been awarded in an international competition that seeks best practices for education and working life collaboration!  

StarT is a science education programme by the LUMA Centre Finland and it has now been granted the Global Best Awards 2018 as Europe’s best programme bridging the gap between working life and STEM education at schools. Director of the LUMA Centre Finland prof. Maija Aksela, StarT international project manager Anette Markula, Chair of the board prof. Jan Lundell and StarT national project manager Outi Haatainen (from left to right in the photo above) travelled to Houston, Texas to receive the awards at the International Partnership Network (IPN) conference in Houston, Texas.

The Global Best Awards 2018 winners were chosen around the world in six categories, and StarT was awarded as Europe’s best in the STEM (”Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”) category. The award was also granted to the Norwegian “Girls and Technology” project. The criteria for the award was that the winner engages young people to STEM related careers and improves their employability in these fields.

StarT is an international and collaborative education initiative in which everyone learns together through interdisciplinary project-based learning. StarT supports children and youngsters and teachers with their science, technology and mathematics projects on all levels of education internationally.

The Director of the LUMA Centre Finland, professor Maija Aksela from the University of Helsinki considers the prize as a remarkable recognition for Finnish science education.

– This international award is a fantastic recognition for the LUMA Centre Finland – a network of 11 universities – for our collaborative and international operational culture. In our initiatives the newest findings from research are creatively transformed into initiatives that benefit children and youngsters, the stars of the future. In StarT we learn from each other through different cultures and create together a better world, Aksela says.

LUMA Centre Finland launched the StarT programme together with their partners in honour of Finland’s centenary in 2016 with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö as the official patron of the programme. Annually over 50 cooperation partners of LUMA Centre Finland have contributed to the programme. The signing up for this year’s StarT is now open on StarT’s webpage. Since 2016 the StarT participants have been from over 40 countries around the world.

We want to thank all our collaboration partners and participants! 

More photos from the conference

Contact details for StarT team

The representatives from LUMA Centre Finland receiving the award in the Houston Space Centre. In the photo from left to right: astronaut Bill McArthur, Jan Lundell, Outi Haatainen, Johnson Space Center’s former director George Abbey, Maija Aksela, Anette Markula and the chair of the IPN2018 conference Bruce Van Dyk.


Join us in carrying out exciting projects and sharing the joy of learning! Participate in StarT 2018-19! 


Have you checked out our online courses on project-based learning yet? Participate here! 


 

Our new international MOOC “Introduction to project-based learning through StarT” is open!

Our first international StarT online course for teachers is open now! In this course you will learn the basics of project-based learning through LUMA Centre Finland’s education initiative, StarT. The course will prepare you to carry out StarT projects with your students, and provide you with materials, support and tips.

The course will give you an overlook on project-based learning as a teaching method, and show you how the StarT model supports you in carrying out project-based learning that is exciting and interesting for learners. This course also gives you a chance to network and exchange ideas with other teachers from around the world!

The completion of the course is estimated to be approximately 4 hours, and it is entirely self-paced and open all the time (until June 2018). You will receive a certificate after completing the course. The tasks on the course include readingwatching videosconversations with the other participants and short questionnaires.

Sign up now for free here! 

Photo: Tuuli Holttinen, Julia Uusoksa

The winners of the international awards of StarT 2018: Jordan, Turkey, Portugal and Finland received awards in the International LUMA StarT Gala 2018

The International LUMA StarT Gala was held on Tuesday June the 5th 2018. Internationally most distinguished science, technology and mathematics projects by young people, and the best educational practices by educators related to the same topics are awarded annually in the StarT gala. This year, the winning teams come from Portugal, Jordan, Turkey and Finland. Congratulations to all the winners! The Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education, Mr. Olli-Pekka Heinonen, handed the awards. 

The winning projects have provided ideas on how mining accidents could be prevented by programming a safe helmet, and on how students can educate each other on climate change through their own club. One of the winning projects showed how kindergarten children can actively learn about life in Stone Age by creating their own informative and interdisciplinary project. The winning best educational practices showed how to make true real-life connections in secondary school mathematics, how kindergarten children can be real researchers and gave an example of creating a culture of scientific and technological learning in a country. In their evaluation criteria, the StarT jury has focused on innovativeness, interdisciplinarity, collaboration and creativitySee the winning projects and best practices here.

The International LUMA StarT Awards were awarded for the second time this year. The StarT gala is organized annually by LUMA Centre Finland, a network of all Finnish science and technology universities with a common goal of promoting science, mathematics and technology education on all grade levels. In 2017-2018, 500 project teams and 100 best educational practices from 20 different countries have participated in the StarT programme of LUMA Centre Finland.

“The key to success is curiosity, creativity and collaboration. They are needed to conquer the wicked problems of our times. The participants of the Start projects have demonstrated all these characteristics and skills which will benefit them in all areas of life in the future.” Director General for the Finnish National Board of Education, Mr. Olli-Pekka Heinonen

Find the winners below!

International LUMA StarT Award (best projects by students) 

Click the name of the team to watch their video, comments of the StarT jury below.

Baret_Care”, students Halil Ataberk Bakırcı, Ahmet Efe Bakırcı and others, Turkey

“These students developed a smart helmet, that improves the security and quality of life of workers in special conditions, namely, it can be used to measure gas, temperature and humidity in the environment, to alert the worker when the measured values may threaten their health, to determine the geographical location, to send the location to the server of tracking system, to call a predetermined number in an emergency.”

“This is an excellent example of problem-based design thinking and inter-disciplinarity. The approach and product are very innovative and there is evidence of student ownership of the problem, process and solution. The product works well, and the video can be a motivation for students in other schools.”            

“Very well Limited Project with the clear aim. Working product in the end.”

Project diary by the students

EcoChange”, Agrupamento de escolas de Alcanena, students Bárbara Correia, Catarina Naia, Guilherme Santos, José Coutinho and Maria Farinha, Portugal

“Students predicted a number of small steps, involving local community – aiming to a big change in improving the local environment.”  

“The objective of this project was to raise awareness about climate change and the importance of saving energy. Its hard to concretely measure the results of such project, but many inventive methods were used and the youths enthusiasm and their own ideas for advancing the project were present throughout the process. A lot of co-operation was done with groups of children. The exercise on thinking about different characters usage of energy deserves special credit; it was a great idea and definitely interesting and engaging for the children. The learning diary and video were both well-composed and compact and they gave a good impression of what the process was like.”

“Project shows participants enthusiasm and great interest. “Eco club” and providing educational activities for range of learning communities shows desire to spread knowledge and devotion.  Participants are very active and project is more than school or start project its still ongoing, Project diary is visual and video shows variety of activities included in the project.”                                 

“Student-based activation in school and community.”

Project diary by the students

Jump into the life at the Stone Age: Winter” (Hyppy kivikauden elämään: talvi), Day Care Center Piilometsä, Finland

“A very innovative way to approach learning about the nature and environment at the kindergarten level through prehistoric times.”   

“truly integrated project, and kids involved, inspiring”

“Very interesting approach to the history. Activating children to explore Stone Age.”

Project diary by the students

 

International LUMA StarT Education Award (best educational practices of instructors and teachers)

Innovation for Creativity Development Association, Suraaya Ayyad, Jordan

“Broad science fair programme for kids and youth”                   

“Excellent idea to create a culture of scientific and technological learning, research, and innovation amongst children and youth in primary and secondary level. Also I applaude the idea to support the childrens’ and youths capacities of scientific inquiry, and problem solving skills to accomplish unique and original scientific projects which inspire them to become innovative scientists in future.”                     

“Nationwide development project. This is also very important sign for youngsters, that also we as a adults appreciate even small students’ steps in science and make possible for them to have  a stage, where to show fruits of explorations.”

MEF Middle School, Simge Sohtorik, Turkey

An excellent example of the integration of school mathematics and community and social responsibility. The project is entrepreneurial and easily replicated by schools around the world. The students appeared to find the project a motivational, creative and educational way to learn mathematics.“                                                                                                                                

“Mathematics is integrated into real life in an innovative way. The students first have a chance to be creative when making their products related to the mathematical theory, and because they still sell the products they’ve produced at a fair, the calculations of cost and benefit become very realistic for the students. It’s also great that the benefits will be given to charity. This educational practice forms a great whole that engages all the students to actually take use of what they have learnt and to bring it into real life in a long-lasting process with clear aims.”

“The project integrates mathematics, arts and crafts nicely as a project that contains knowledge of mathematics useful for all citizens of society. The project seems to have also some other societal aims.”

“The practice is very innovative i.e. many different aspects of the golden ratio were used. It was truly interdisciplinary combining several school subjects. Involving charity work was a good bonus.”                                                 

“Real life mathematics used to learn social and economic skills – and serving community.”

Preschool group Puuhiset Satulaiva, Kirsi Rehunen, Finland

“Enthusiasm, excellent idea, a network of collaboration (professors, parents, library), involvement on various subject-areas”                    

“Excellent example, how storytelling, fairytales can be used in pre-primary education. This is also showing how the boundaries of different subjects can be faded out very natural way.”                     

“This best practice has wonderfully managed to bring scientific ways of working to a kindergarten through a common theme of a story. The group has made use of parents, real scientists, science fairs, field work, and conducted a lot of different scientific experiments that base on the children’s questions. The children are put in the place of the experts in an innovative way, as they’re encouraged to invent new things and even share their knowledge to help another kindergarten group with their work. The scientific working practices and the impressive and diverse activities that this group has done clearly make it one of the nominees.”

“The project introduces innovative and child-centered way to introduce technology education and an important discussion about the image of scientists for pre-schoolers. This kind of discussions can have a positive effect on children’s interest on science.”

The public’s favourites  (read more here) and the most active countries were also awarded at the StarT Gala. In addition, the Finnish National Awards were handed. The programme for the StarT gala can be found here: https://start.luma.fi/en/gala/

Public’s favourite project:

Waste Busters” with their project “Lemna grinder”, students Zeynep Sude Çetin, Bora Özkan, Zeynep Eyüpoğlu, Berfin Elçin, Kerim Berber, Umay Eskialp, Melike Damla Özdemir, Aslıhan Eşkin, Gizem İdil Tunçbilek and Bilgesu Gökçenur. Turkey.

Public’s favourite best practice:

StarT Day in S.O.S. Project Schools” S.O.S. Project Schools, Turkey.  

The most active countries

The most active countries out of the 20 countries participating in the StarT were Turkey and Estonia. Turkey has registered the most StarT projects, and Estonia has organized a national StarT Science Festival.  Congratulations to all the teams from Turkey and Estonia! 

Additional information

  • The composition of the StarT jury 2018 can be found here.
  • Pictures of the awarded teams for the media can be found here.
  • Best of StarT 2018 here (including nominees)
  • Photos from the gala can be found here
  • Watch the gala here
  • Read more about LUMA Centre Finland here: https://www.luma.fi/en/centre/
  • Contact us at info@start.luma.fi

StarT 2018–2019: registration is open!

We want to thank everyone who participated in the gala and StarT 2017–2018, and we are already eagerly looking forward to seeing what kind of StarT projects you create next school year! 

Register as a learning community for StarT 2018–2019 here (registration open until the end of October 2018. Reporting of the projects of children and youth, and the best educational practices of  teachers and instructors starts in November (tbc) and must be done by February 2019. Reporting the work does not require registration but by registering as a learning community you get additional support from us)

Subscribe to our newsletter hereHave you suddenly stopped receiving newsletters from us? We might have removed you from our mailing list if you did not verify that you want to continue hearing from us due to the GDPR update – but do not worry, you can subscribe here again!

 

Nominees 2018: See the final twenty contestants of the International LUMA StarT Awards!

The LUMA Centre Finland is proud to share the nominees for the best educational practices and the best projects carried out in learning communities across the world in 2017‒2018. The videos of these twenty nominees introduce educational practices worth noting and suggest inspiring ideas for carrying out project-based learning in schools and kindergartens. Have a look and let the videos of the top contestants of StarT inspire you! 

We are proud to announce that the StarT jury has chosen the nominees for the International LUMA StarT Awards 2018 as follows:

 

The International LUMA StarT Education Award Nominees 2018 (best practice nominees):

  1. Preschool group Puuhiset Satulaiva, Kirsi Rehunen, Finland
  2. Innovation for Creativity Development Association, Suraaya Ayyad, Jordan
  3. Junior Karasin University; ”Club 2×2″ from Children and Youth Center for Creative Activities, Halyna Hodovana, Ukraine
  4. Kulosaaren Yhteiskoulu (Kulosaari Secondary School), Hanna Huhtakallio, Finland
  5. Team Chimera, Richard Spencer, the United Kingdom
  6. MEF Middle School, Simge Sohtorik, Turkey
  7. MTA-SZTE Science Education Research Group and Arany János Primary School Szeged, Erzsébet Korom, Hungary
  8. S.O.S Project Schools, Nilgün Erentay, Turkey
  9. 1B NMS Stromstraße, Katharina Rettenmoser, Austria
  10. Ylämyllyn koulu (Ylämylly school), Pekka Tarva, Finland

The International LUMA StarT Award Nominees 2018 (project nominees):

  1. “EcoChange”, Agrupamento de escolas de Alcanena (Bárbara Correia, Catarina Naia, Guilherme Santos, José Coutinho and Maria Farinha), Portugal
  2. “Grab group versus shovel group”, Automatic parking robot plan (Xu Mohan, Zhang Shuqin, Han Xinxue, Wang Jieting), China
  3. “UV Alarm”, Clube Ciência Viva ESDMII Braga (Francisco Toldy, Filipe Santos, Raquel Moreira), Portugal
  4. “The Galaxy”, Curious Astronauts (Sabahat Demir, Nergiz Demir, Irmak Acar, Şiyar Atak, Cihan Güngör, Oktay Demir, İsmail Atan), Turkey
  5. “Oma peli ohjelmoimalla (pragramming your own game)”, Jyväskylän normaalikoulun alakoulu  (Primary school of the Jyväskylä teacher training school) (Class 3C), Finland
  6. “Tom Yam Kung Project”, National science and technology development agency (Kindergarten school of Thammasat University), Thailand
  7. “Baret_Care”, Turkey
  8. “Hyppy kivikauden elämään: Talvi” (Jump into the life at the Stone Age: Winter), Day Care Center Piilometsä, Finland
  9. “Lemna grinder”, WASTE BUSTERS (Zeynep Sude Çetin, Bora Özkan, Zeynep Eyüpoğlu, Berfin Elçin, Kerim Berber, Umay Eskialp, Melike Damla Özdemir, Aslıhan Eşkin, Gizem İdil Tunçbilek, Bilgesu Gökçenur), Turkey
  10. “#biopolku” (#biopath”), Äänekosken lukio (Äänekoski Upper Secondary School) (Elina Aaltonen, Arttu Hytönen, Liisa Pulli, Linda Savolainen, Santtu Sällinen, Sofia Turunen), Finland

The nominee videos convey exemplary educational practices that take use of an interdisciplinary approach, and promote collaborative learning and active learning in general. By watching the videos everyone can benefit from the pedagogical innovations formulated across the world, and make use of the exciting ideas and quintessential methods for carrying out project-based learning.

We want to congratulate all the groups that have been chosen as the nominees for the International LUMA StarT Awards 2018, and thank everyone else for their contribution to StarT! It was incredibly difficult for the StarT jury to make the decision of the nominees of all the impressive videos you submitted. Hopefully you all have had a great and inspiring time both doing your own projects and watching the videos of the other groups!

 

The final winners will be announced at the International LUMA StarT Gala

 

Next, the international honorary StarT jury will make the difficult decision as to which of the twenty nominees will be awarded with the grand prizes of StarT. There will be altogether three projects winning the International LUMA StarT Award and three best educational practices winning the International LUMA StarT Education Award. These six winning groups will be awarded with the trip to Finland to receive their awards at the International StarT Gala 2018. As such, please note that even though being named as a nominee is a remarkable achievement and genuinely something to be proud of, it does not mean that the group has won the grand prize (the International LUMA StarT Award or Education Award).

 

We welcome everyone to participate the gala at their own cost! However, attending the gala itself is free. If you cannot make it to the gala, remember to watch the livestream of it to find out the final winners! Read more about the gala and find a link to the livestreaming later here.

 

“Waste busters” and “StarT Day in S.O.S Project Schools” are the public’s favourites!

The international public voting has now ended and we are proud to announce that the public’s favourites are…

 

  • The project team “Waste Busters” from Kocaeli, Turkey with their exciting project “Lemna grinder”! Congratulations to the students Zeynep Sude Çetin, Bora Özkan, Zeynep Eyüpoğlu, Berfin Elçin, Kerim Berber, Umay Eskialp, Melike Damla Özdemir, Aslıhan Eşkin, Gizem İdil Tunçbilek and Bilgesu Gökçenur! See their video below:

  • The best practice “StarT Day in S.O.S. Project Schools” from Istanbul, Turkey! Congratulations to S.O.S. Project Schools for their amazing collaboration! See their video below:

Waste busters” are a group of upper secondary school students from Kocaeli, Turkey who wanted to do something about the pollution of wetlands. In their brilliant video you can see the students taking advantage of the aquatic plant Lemna minor and its’ capability to act as a bioremediator that removes heavy metals from the water. The students collaborated with each to create an innovative water purifier from trash cans, net and solar panels. During the course of their project, the students learnt about water pollution, heavy metals and they also conducted experiments to decide which energy source and which plant would be the best option for the water purifier. Amazing work!

S.O.S. Project Schools” is an impressive voluntarily coordinated project in Turkey that has truly shown the power of collaboration: they have successfully activated 74 project teams across Turkey to create projects around the theme of endangered species and wetlands! The S.O.S. Project Schools had a common theme, endangered species and wetlands, and they activated learning communities around Turkey to work around the theme by different means. For example, participating schools had sister schools which allowed the students to exchange and discuss the results and ideas they got from their projects. The project teams collaborated also with local municipalities, associations and universities. The project groups across Turkey then created their projects which included for example drama, exhibitions, interviews, scientific designs, experimental projects, posters, art… All of these creations were then presented at the StarT Days, which was organized in each of the S.O.S Project Schools. Congratulations to S.O.S Project Schools on your inspiring work!

Also the rest of the videos gained an admirable number of views and likes, and we at StarT are really happy to see that the public voting is serving its’ purpose: sharing the discoveries and innovations created by both young people and passionate educators around the world! Hopefully the videos have helped you by offering plenty of ideas and inspiration for carrying out project-based learning in your own learning communities!

Once more, a big thank you for everyone for sharing your great pedagogical innovations and wonderful projects with us and the rest of the world!

 

The winners of the LUMA StarT Awards will be published in the International LUMA StarT Gala

Next step in the StarT 2017–2018 is the announcement of the twenty nominees that continue on to compete for the main prizes of StarT. The StarT jury consisting of several people is now busy making their decision on the nominees, and they’ll consider your votes when making this decision. On the 16th of April 2018, we will announce the 10 best project nominees and 10 best educational practice nominees. From these 20 nominees, the honorary StarT jury will make the final decision as to who will receive the awards of the international StarT 2017–2018.

As such, please note that even though being named as the public’s favourite or a nominee is an incredible achievement and truly something to be proud of, it does not mean that the group has won the grand prize (the International LUMA StarT Award or Education Award). The International LUMA StarT Award will be given to three project teams and the International LUMA StarT Education Award for three best practices, and these six groups are the ones that will be winning the trip to Finland to receive their awards in the International LUMA StarT Gala.

The International LUMA StarT Gala is on the 5th of June 2018 in Tampere, Finland. The gala is free of charge and everyone is welcome to participate in it. Unfortunately, we can only cover the travel costs of the six  teams receiving the International LUMA StarT Awards, but everyone can watch it livestream via the internet . Read more about the gala and find the links to watch it here (the link to the livestream of the gala will be added later). Also, remember to register as a learning community to the StarT 2018-2019 from May onwards! By registering you will receive additional information and support for carrying out StarT projects in your learning community, and the registration does not bind you to anything.

 

The StarT public voting ‒ sharing the joy of learning!

StarT spring proceeds and the time has come to vote for your favourite videos! The StarT jury has made their decision as to which videos proceeded to the public voting, and you can now find the videos of the best practices and projects on the Youtube channel of StarT so go check out the amazing work groups from around the world have done and get inspired by project based learning! You can find direct links to each theme at the end of this post.

Your likes will be considered when the nominees for the best projects and practices of 2018 are chosen by the StarT jury, so voting really pays off! The winners of the public voting will also be awarded with a diploma in the international StarT gala. The international StarT gala is the grand final of both the national and international StarT every year, and this year it will take place in Tampere on the 5th of June 2018 as a part of the national LUMA days. Read more about last year’s gala here and find more about this year’s gala here.

 

Why StarT?

In 2016, the LUMA Centre Finland with their collaborators started a new education model called StarT. The purpose of StarT it to support the implementation of inter-disciplinary approach and cross-curricular studies in schools in accordance with the new national curriculum of Finland. The StarT model is aimed to be implemented in all learning communities from early childhood to upper secondary education.

StarT is exceptional as everyone learns together as a learning community by carrying out phenomenon-based and cross-curricular projects. The main goal of StarT is to strengthen the excitement and interest of children and youngsters towards studying mathematics, natural sciences and technology.

The long-term goal of StarT is to establish the collaborative and inspiring StarT model into the annual activities of schools and other learning communities. The Star 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 nearly 800 learning communities from 36 different countries in 2016-2017.

 

After the public voting

The voting continues until the 8th of April, so make sure to like your favourite videos before that! Don’t forget to invite your friends and family along to share the inspiring work you have done! The nominees for the best projects and practices of 2018 will be announced on the 16th of April. The StarT jury will decide ten nominees for the best projects and ten nominees for the best practices. Of these twenty nominees, the honorary StarT jury will decide which three groups win the International LUMA StarT Education Award (for best practices) and which three groups the International LUMA StarT Award (for the best projects). You can read more about the assessment criteria here.

 

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE BEFORE the 8th of APRIL

Direct links to international public voting:

Best practices:

Best practices -international

Best practices -national

Projects by themes:

National projects

Nature and environment

Mathematics around us

Stars and space

Home, culture and internationality

Well-being

Technology around us

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