The best of the international StarT 2018

The StarT 2018 Jury has selected the 10 best projects and 10 best educational practices as nominees for the International LUMA StarT Awards and Education Awards. The nominees were selected from 500 projects and 100 best practices from 20 different countries. The winners were announced at the International LUMA StarT gala at the University of Tampere on the 5th of June 2018. The awards were handed by Olli-Pekka Heinonen, the Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education. See the best of StarT 2017-2018 for excellent ideas and inspiration for project-based learning!

The winners of the International LUMA StarT Award and Education Award 2018

The winners of the International LUMA StarT Award and Education Award 2018

Best project nominees and winners 2018

Get inspired by the exciting science, technology and mathematics related projects that students around the world have created! The StarT jury chose 10 nominees for the International LUMA StarT Award 2018. Three of the nominees won the main prize (the International LUMA StarT Award).

Below you can find the students’ project videos and their learning diaries. The age of the students varies from kindergarten children to upper secondary school students. Read more about the winners (including the jury’s comments), the prizes and the gala here.

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Winners of the International LUMA StarT Award 2018

Baret_Care, Turkey

In this project, the students designed an intelligent helmet for mine workers. The helmet measures for example the temperature, humidity and gas content of the surrounding air. It warns the worker if the levels change dangerously, and it reports the location and measured data to a central system and contacts an emergency number if necessary.
Project diary


EcoChange, Agrupamento de escolas de Alcanena, Alcanena, Portugal

These students wanted to raise awareness about environmental issues, energy sources and energetic efficiency. They decided to form their own club, EcoChange, through which they organized a range of educational activities, including an informative interactive drama and educational games for the younger students about conserving energy. The activities unite the learning community from elementary to high school.
Project diary

Jump to the Life at the Stone Age: Winter, Päiväkoti Piilometsä, Oulu, Finland

The children in the kindergarten Piilometsä learnt about the life in the Stone Age by living like people in the Stone Age did: the activities included dressing up, arts, writing, movie making, sleeping outside, collecting food from the forest, crafts and a visit to the University of Oulu. The project is a part of a three-year project studying a nearby stone age site.
Project diary

Rest of the nominees for the International LUMA StarT Award 2018 (in alphabetical order)

Automatic Parking Robot Plan, Grab Group vs Shovel Group, Suzhou, China

Drawing inspiration from the doll grab machine and a fork lift, both of the groups designed a parking robot for toy cars. But which one worked?
Project diary

#biopolku, Äänekosken lukio, Finland

During a course on bioeconomy, the students visited companies and educational establishments and did laboratory experiments. They also prepared and presented a talk in English to an international group and created an educational mystery path, #biopath, about bioeconomy for other students. Completing a bioeconomy related task on the #biopath gives the participant a hint that leads them to the next point on the path.
Project diary

Lemna Grinder, Waste Busters, Kocaeli, Turkey (the Public’s favorite)

The main aim was to do something about wetlands pollution. As the plant species Lemna minor absorbs water pollutants, such as heavy metals, it was used to design a water purifier machine.
Project diary

Programming Your Own Game, Jyväskylän normaalikoulun alakoulu, Finland

The students designed and programmed their own learning games that were then presented at the university in a national symposium and in the school’s own StarT gala.
Project diary (in Finnish)

The Galaxy, Curious astronauts, Şırnak, Turkey

In this project, a three-dimensional model of space was created in a darkened room.
Project diary

Tom Yam Kung, National Science and Technology Development Agency, Kindergarten School of Thammasat University, Thailand

The subject of study was one of the national dishes of Thailand. The kindergarten students learnt through inquiry how their dish is prepared. The theme was approached through arts, cooking, math and field trips.
Project diary

UV Alarm, Clube Ciência Viva ESDMII Braga, Portugal

The objective of the project was the construction of a portable prototype that can alert humans about dangerous levels of UV radiation.
Project diary

Best practice nominees and winners 2018

Looking for good approaches to science, technology and mathematics teaching? These ten nominees for the International LUMA StarT Education Award are teachers, instructors and educators from around the world who have created and carried out exceptionally good approaches to science, technology and mathematics teaching for students from early education to upper secondary school.

The StarT 2018 Jury has selected 10 best educational practices as nominees for the International LUMA StarT Education Award, and below you can find the videos describing their best practices. Three of the nominees won the main prize (the International LUMA StarT Education Award). Read more about the winners (including the jury’s comments), the prizes and the gala here.

Got interested in StarT? Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Winners of the International LUMA StarT Education Award 2018

Innovation for Creativity Development Association, Suraaya Ayyad, Jordan

The main goal of  the voluntarily coordinated Innovation for Creativity Development Asssociation is to create a culture of scientific and tehnological learning, research and innovation among children and youth, and developing related skills like problem solving, critical thinking and communication. The project includes e.g. a national science fair and associated teacher training, clubs and training for different age groups and field trips for families.

MEF Middle School, Simge Sohtorik, Turkey

The project started from the concepts of ratio and proportion. The students created products containing the golden ratio, combining arts with mathematics, and determined a sale price for each. The products were then sold at a fair, and the proceeds donate to an institution chosen by the students.

Preschool group Puuhiset Satulaiva, Kirsi Rehunen, Finland

In this project, research is approached from a viewpoint that to children seems familiar and non-threatening – fairytales. First, preschoolers and their parents familiarized themselves with what a researcher needs. During the project, children worked on the topic in groups and then presented their project to each other and parents. The group has also been visited by scientists, and there is a science club for those most interested.

Kirsi Rehunen’s further commitment: STEM teacher delegate Science on Stage Finland 2015/2017

Other Nominees for the International LUMA StarT Education Award 2018 (in alphabetical order)

Junior Karasin University; ”Club 2×2″ from Children and Youth Center for Creative Activities, Halyna Hodovana, Ukraine

In this project, extracurricular activities for students and their parents were developed, giving the parents a key role in the process. Activities with good results include tournaments where children and parents solve problems together, scienctific picnics with children presenting science topics, participation in the activities of an educational scientific center and mathematical games.

Halyna Hodovana’s further commitment: NSC member Science on Stage Ukraine, STEM teacher delegate Science on Stage Ukraine 2017


Kulosaaren Yhteiskoulu, Hanna Huhtakallio, Finland

The first-year students of this secondary school familiarized themselves with scientific research by studying a phenomenon of their choice in combined classes of chemistry, biology and physics. The project was presented at a school science fair, also attended by research teams from other schools.

MTA-SZTE Science Education Research Group and Arany János Primary School Szeged, Erzsébet Korom, Hungary

The research group and school organized a teacher training workshop to combine the results of the researches and the good practices of science teaching in the school. The workshop has been a platform of a fruitful professional relationship between the research team and its partners.

S.O.S Project Schools, Nilgün Erentay, Turkey

S.O.S. (Save Our Species) is a volunteer-based project targeting schools from kindergarten to high school, researching endangered species and their local wetland habitats, aiming to improve their conditions. The activities include field trips, water quality measurements, data analysis and building miniature ecosystems. The participating schools collaborate with each other, municipalities, associations and universities in their local area. The students also create documentaries, scientific designs and experimental projects, posters as well as arts and drama works, stories, songs and exhibitions.

Nilgün Erentay’s further commitment: Main NSC Science on Stage Turkey


Team Chimera, Richard Spencer, the United Kingdom

The group took a scientific paper about paternity testing and (with help from a researcher) made it into a drama, which was filmed. The project combined skills from Science, English, Drama and Media Studies.

Richard Spencer’s further commitment: NSC member Science on Stage United Kingdom


Ylämyllyn koulu, Pekka Tarva, Finland

In this project, the groups designed, programmed and built an automated system, machine or robot out of legos and other materials, and created a photo diary and a video. The group also visited a local technology company.

1B NMS Stromstraße, Katharina Rettenmoser, Austria

In the project ”How to live a healthy life?” a group including several special needs students researched the human body, especially the digestive tract. The project included e.g. eating healthy breakfast together, baking, growing herbs, field trips to a forest, planting trees, participating workshops about animals, a dance project, participating in a running event and practicing different sports.