The LUMA Centre Finland is proud to share the top ten best educational practices and projects carried out in learning communities across the world in 2021-2022. The videos of these twenty nominees introduce educational practices worth noting and present inspiring ideas for carrying out interdisciplinary project-based learning in schools and kindergartens. The nominees have been selected from 847 projects and 750 best practices from 33 countries around the world.
Best project nominees 2022
Ten projects have been selected by the StarT jury as nominees for the International LUMA StarT Award 2022. Get inspired by the best projects and try them with your students or pupils! Check out the International LUMA StarT Award 2022 nominees listed in alphabetical order by project name below. You can get to know more about each project through learning diaries linked next to each project.
Additional Factors In Growth
Name of the learning community: Lyseonmäen koulu, Finland School state: Lower secondary school What subjects have been used in the project: physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and English.
Briefly: The idea in this project was to grow Chia plant seeds under different conditions and to study how conditions and their changes affect seed growth. Our hypothesis was that better plant growth can be achieved in hydrogen peroxide, as it should prevent the formation of rot in the roots of plants (due to the oxygen to which hydrogen peroxide breaks down) and neutralize bacteria, which would help the plant to grow.
Comparing the ratio of Aluminum migration to the food from different kinds of aluminum foil
Name of the learning community: Iso Education School, Jordan School state: Lower secondary school What subjects have been used in the project: chemistry, biology and mathematics.
Briefly: The most common kinds of disposable food package aluminum in Jordanian society was detected. Then, a controlled scientific experiment was designed to compare the percentage of aluminum migration to food from these kinds.
Disaster Search and Rescue UAV Project -The Servator
Name of the learning community: Vinschool Education System, Vietnam School state: Lower and upper secondary school What subjects have been used in the project: Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics.
Briefly: The project is a drone. It is equipped with a camera and single-board computer, tasked with flying aboveareas affected by disasters and detecting victims through machine learning, with the whole process beingautomatic.
Estudi de la contaminació atmosfèrica a Martorell
Name of the learning community: INS Pompeu Fabra, Spain School state: High school What subjects have been used in the project: Industrial technology and physics.
Briefly:In this project, we have analyzed hourly data of different atmospheric pollutants from 1991 to 2021 and combined them with another meteorological database (wind direction) to deduce where the pollution comes from. On the other hand, we have observed whether these values comply with current regulations.
Name of the learning community: Veikkolan yhtenäiskoulu, Finland School state: Primary and secondary school What subjects have been used in the project: Handicrafts, mathematics, programming, biology and English.
Link to the project diary (OneDrive folder). Briefly:The first task was to design and to build a platform for testing the idea. Our school has high know-how in handicrafts, so we wanted to build a stylish one. The platform was made by handicraft teacher with elementary and lower secondary pupils. Several partners helped the work.
Name of the learning community: Terakki Vakfı Özel Şişli Terakki Tepeören Anadolu Lisesi, Turkey School state: Secondary school What subjects have been used in the project: Chemistry and arts.
Link to the project diary (YouTube). Briefly: We identified air pollution as a problem that substantially affects the people around our school and decided to work on this issue. Air pollution, according to the information we’ve gathered from the locals of this residence, influences the life expectancy negatively. The survey and the interviews: In order to understand the effect of the air pollution; we directed questions towards the residents living in the area surrounding factories, employees of these factories, and several factory owners and listened to their perspectives. We also conducted this survey with the students and the teachers of our school.
Name of the learning community: Ismailli Secondary School, Azerbaidžan School state: Secondary school What subjects have been used in the project: Chemistry and arts.
Briefly: The optimal temperature in the cocoon is needed to grow quality cocoons, and this temperature needs to be monitored frequently throughout the cocoon. In order to control the worms’ equal supply of food and to detect the areas where the feed is reduced in time, the crawling worms are trampled to death, which leads to a decrease in productivity. In this project, the students are trying to decrease the trampling of the worms during the silk production cycle by using technology.
Sustainable recycling of contaminated sediment in Yantian River
Name of the learning community: Yangang Primary school, China School state: Primary school What subjects have been used in the project: Chemistry, Physics, Information Technology and Engineering, Mathematics, Chinese, Art, Geography and Science.
Briefly:The students found abundant contaminated sediment in the middle and lower reaches of Yantian River which makes the water dirty. Therefore they explore feasible ways of contaminated sediment treatment and invented an idea that the sediment could be a good fertilizer and material for flowerpots.
The Exploration of the Secrets of Mangrove Roots — Exploring the Ecological Value of Mangrove Windbreak and Sand Fixation
Name of the learning community: Shenzhen Yantian Donghe Branch of Foreign Language Primary School, China School state: Primary school What subjects have been used in the project: Science, Information Technology and Engineering, Maths, Chinese, Arts and English.
Briefly: In this project, the students explore whether mangroves can really prevent wind and fix sand. They learn how to conduct a scientific study in an experiment setup. The students learn about the mangroves ecological values such as wind prevention and sand fixation as well as seawater purification and the establishment of blue carbon ecosystem.
Urban farming as an alternative adaptation for climate change and source of income for urban community in the pandemic era
Name of the learning community: Matoa D5, Indonesia School state: Elementary school What subjects have been used in the project: Science, technology, entrepreneurship.
Briefly:The team is wondering if urban farming aquaponics along with the RAS system can affect the climate change and can solar aquaponics urban farming along with the RAS system help economically the city community during the pandemic. The team has an attic area of 18 square meters where they do urban farming aquaponics using the RAS system. The RAS system used a very simple adaptation on a household scale.
Best practice nominees 2022
In the StarT season 2021-2022, 750 great teaching practices took part to StarT competition, from which the jury selected the 10 most deserving practice entries as nominees to compete for the International LUMA StarT Award. In the StarT season 2021-2022, there was one interdisciplinary theme, MyLUMA, which refers to mathematics, natural sciences and technology.
Check out the International LUMA StarT Education Award 2022 nominees listed in alphabetical order by practice name below. You can get to know more about each practice and find out how they carried out the best practice by reading the project description of the practices. Link to the practice description and additional materials can be found next to each practice.
A Model of Organizing Online Experiential Activities for Secondary School Students
Name of the learning community:Cau Giay Secondary School, Vietnam The best practice is a teaching method
For the past two years, the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic has cause a tremendous disruption to teaching and learning process, not only in Vietnam but also all over the world. However, this challenging circumstance has also opened up a revolution called “Digital transformation in education” in Vietnam, creating opportunities for teachers to be exposed and creative with technology. When face-to-face learning and hands-on experience are impossible due to the epidemic, we have thought of an online experiential form – experiential activities on online platforms thanks to the Internet connectivity and a multimedia system, with a view to helping students mobilize interdisciplinary knowledge, practice making products and solve practical problems. We realize that in online experiential activities, it is easy to integrate knowledge into the experience, integrate many subjects together, which is convenient for teachers, parents and students throughout the experiential process. Online experiences can also connect different spaces, diversify cultures of various regions, and mobilize many forces to participate according to practical conditions. In the context of the epidemic, online experience is the safest form to help students learn through practice, relieving the pressure of rote memorization, and achieving effectiveness in learning. Such rationales have motivated Cau Giay Junior High School to conduct a practice of online experiential activities for secondary school students.
In collaboration with Vietnam National Museum of Nature, National Historical Museum along with Biology and Historical experts, our school organized three experiential activities (“Pickle mustard greens and scallion heads”, “Create phylogenetic trees and insect specimens”, “Ancient culture week”) for 440 sixth-grade students in one-week time period. With considerable support from such out-of-school partners, the. practice was carried out successfully, following five steps. Firstly, our team identified the interdisciplinary knowledge that could be involved in each activity. Specifically, the first activity of “pickling mustard greens and scallion heads” enabled students to mobilize knowledge and skills from Natural Sciences, Geography, History and Math when they got to understand about the role of bacteria in human life, Vietnamese cuisine, the characteristics of wet rice agriculture and to calculate the ratio of ingredients. The second one was “creating phylogenetic trees and insect specimens”, revolving around Natural Sciences, Arts, Math and Information Technology (IT). Students were equipped with knowledge about the biodiversity, besides, took advantage of art skills to design a model of a phylogenetic tree as well as decorate insect specimens. Through the process, they also had to calculate to divide ratios the parts of the phylogenetic tree model accordingly and made use of IT to record and present their products. The last experience of “Ancient culture week” was related to (1) general knowledge about ancient civilizations (History), (2) knowledge about the geographical location, territorial extent, and administration of each ancient country as well as present-day countries (Geography), (3) skills in writing descriptive, expressive and especially narrative texts of famous landscapes and historical sites (Literature), (4) designing a travel magazine in the form of a journal to introduce a specific country; building models (Arts) and (5) visiting 3D virtual museums (IT).
Secondly, with the agreement on interdisciplinary knowledge, our team continued to develop an implementation plan. The plan clearly defined objectives, implementation methods, proposed activities, requirements, expectations and roles of teachers and students.
Thirdly, three online experiential activities were implemented simultaneously within 1 week. Through online lessons with teachers and experts along with a source of tutorial videos, students were prepared with knowledge about related fields, from which they could propose the process and actively discuss with teachers and experts. With each activity, there were different requirements of the outcome products that needed pupils to experiment, mobilize their creativity, concentration and application. After all, they also had to report and evaluate the experiential activities on different ways such as PowerPoint presentation, video recording, essay or products gallery.
Finally, step four and step five were processed when teachers reported results and evaluated the experiential activities. Luckily, all three experiential activities were completed according to plan, with students’ active and exciting participation, parents’ significant support and partners’ close cooperation.
In conclusion, the intertwining and complementing among different categories of knowledge was the factor that created the interdisciplinary nature for the teaching model, bringing novel and positive impacts to teaching and learning. Three topics for experiential were carefully selected and flexibly combined, creating a week of new and exciting learning experiences for students, focusing on comprehensive capacity development. This model is feasible because it can be applied in many different situations and regions with the condition that there is internet and computer, promising to bring positive effects to teaching and learning in either online or face-to-face learning. Therefore, the model is completely applicable in many localities, in many times, in different ways. We hope that this model will be applied in many places, with the flexible application of teachers and students in choosing topics and implementation methods to suit the practical conditions of localities and educational institutions.
The practice is designed for children in the age group of 4 and 5.
Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. Our project has been planned on the basis of permaculture and sustainable life philosophy. Permaculture; It is a system that combines conceptual, material and strategic components in a model that works for the benefit of all living things. Behind permaculture is the philosophy of working with nature rather than against it, observing for long periods of time instead of acting thoughtlessly for a long time, looking at them in all their functions, and allowing systems to evolve instead of pursuing a single product. Based on the reality that sustainable life philosophy can best be given “Nature-Based Education”, our Project is based on nature-based education.
It is aimed to introduce children to the philosophy of sustainable life at an early age. There is a philosophy of working with nature, not against it, of long-term careful observation and allowing systems to evolve themselves. It is aimed to raise individuals who take care of the earth, value all living and non-living systems, know that resources are limited, can use resources correctly for a sustainable life and can direct their consumption habits correctly. Forming the awareness of children in early childhood that we share the Earth with other living and nonliving systems, and with a sustainable life cycle, children’s development of behaviors in subjects such as recycling waste, producing our own food, respecting the right to life of living things and creating shelters for them, protecting biodiversity.
Relationship with the curriculum
The pre-school education program was taken as the basis for the curriculum. Among the development areas and achievement-indicators in the pre-school education program, the ones suitable for the project’s goals were selected. Using child-centered teaching methods and techniques, the pre-school education program enables children to organize activities that support their holistic development with different disciplines and enable them to acquire various skills. Applications are activity-based. The activities in the project were carried out with the types of activities included in the preschool education program.Different educational approaches that increase children’s daily life skills, support education in nature and include alternative education models are also included in our project. Activities have been carried out to help children become individuals who take care of the earth and the eco-system, strive to reach resources without harming nature with themes such as ecological diversity, natural gardening, shelter and design, and use resources correctly for sustainable life.
Best practice process
Our project consisted of ecological diversity, natural gardening, shelter and design themes. Children met with our animal friends living in our school garden and our animal friends (worms, turtles, caterpillars, snails, hedgehogs, cats, birds, etc.) were observed by children in their natural habitats. Based on the fact that we share the same world with them, many activities have been carried out to respect and facilitate the lives of living things and the entire ecosystem. Arranging an insect hotel, preparing an observatory for observing life in the soil, constructing a habitat for reptiles, cats, birds, creating a tiny aquaponix system for soilless agriculture, recognizing the diversity of plants around our school, planting various fruit trees in our school garden, growing vegetables and fruits in raised vegetable beds, designing a spice spiral that can grow many plants to save space in our school garden, drying plants using different drying techniques, various germination activities, grinding tree branches and making mulch, designing birdhouses with natural materials, water wall design with natural fences for birds to drink water. Activities such as designing natural fences from old glass, drawing pictures on discarded wood and tiles and using them in garden design, and recognizing houses designed for shelter in different parts of the world were held.
Evaluation of Best Practice
The evaluation of the project was in the form of chatting with the children, getting their thoughts on the project, observing the behaviors of the children before and after the project, and receiving feedback from the families.
Equipment and resources
In our project, priority and importance has been given to the use of natural materials. Each material has been made functional within the project with a zero wast
Name of the learning community:Liangfeng Primary School Zhangjiagang, China The best practice is a teaching method
In our project: – Two 8 grade classes, in which we had five groups of four people. – Two math teachers and one heatlh education theacher – Two visiting researcher from Tampere university (the theme of the virtual visit was researching sleep and the feeling refreshed)
Time spent: – about two healts education classes – about 10 math classes
How the project got started:
The project got started from the idea of two math teacher on how to compound math with other school subjects other than traditional science subjects (STEM). Mathematics is needed in every day life and in students future studies. Math is also a tool one needs studying other sciences. We wanted to make this clear to our secondary school students. We chose sleep as our subject for this project because of scheduling, local curriculum and do to the connections of the teachers.
Description of the project:
The instructions and finished works were put on classes Classroom site. Each group kept a diary on Padlet. The projects started by studying sleep, rest and rhythm of everyday life in health studies lessons. For a week students kept a diary in which they observed optional quantities associated to sleep like for example: how many hours of sleep they got in the night or how refreshed they felt in the morning. During math classes students learned about ratio, proportion equations, proportionality and inversely proportionality. Groups chose a study question they found interesting. The they used qualitative methods to analyze the data in health education while using skills they learned at mats lessons. Important was to analyze the ratio of different quantities (proportionately and inversely proportionality) using calculus and plots (excel). The final result consists of a Power Point presentation and a video. University’s smart ring researchers presented via computer how to survey sleep and feeling refreshed and the mathematich models used on such research. The two classes presented their findings to each other on a joint occasion between the classes.
The aim of the projects (translated directly from curriculum):
– Health education: Student understands the purpose of sleep and rest as a factor, which promotes our health. Student can depict and analyze their own health habits associated to sleep and rest. Student can critically analyze their choices and their consequences. Students can act in a way which promotes health in their everyday life. – Mathematics: The concepts of ratio and learning how to solve proportion equations, learning how to use directly proportionately and inversely proportionately in everyday situations. – Multidisciplinarity skills: research skills, IT-skills (Excel), creativity, tolerance to uncertainty, performance, scheduling
– In health education we evaluate the sleep journal and associated conclusions and thoughts. In math we evaluate the final products (Power Point presentation and video) and the journals the students kept during the process. In addition the students peer reviews affect the grade. Students will receive a grade as well as verbal feed back.
Do you know how to explain the mysteries of Ames’ Room or calculate the date of the end of the world? Quite easy, simply attend the “Science Picnic” in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and, why not, try to replicate the activity with your students. Students, acting as teachers, carry the mission of science ambassadors and attract their peers to the magical world of mathematics. At the same time, parents are happy to watch the growth of self-esteem in young scientists and confidence in the power of their own minds. Science picnics are an engaging way to explore science and let the students use their own creativity and skills to explain scientifics laws and phenomena. This teaching method is so remarkable that a twin project has been carried out in Brescia (Italy): same topics, same subjects and experiment but, this time, reversed roles: grown-up people, i.e. parents, act as teachers and engage kids in an amazing shared experience.
Project details and how to replicate and share
The “Science picnic” project can be organized autonomously by teachers at different levels. 1. Teachers offer students (primary school) a bunch of science activities and pupils choose what they like the most; then each student prepare models, drawings and posters. During school hours, they introduce the project to classmates trying to explain the scientific topic, giving reasons and answering the questions. Once the training is completed, students are ready to introduce the project to parents and friends during a specific event called “Science picnic”. In a first step Science picnic take place at school or in the neighborhood; it’s up to school managers and teachers to choose the place that fits best with the activity.
2. A second level of participation involves collaboration with local administration: “Science picnics” can join existing public events or just be carried out autonomously in public parks and open spaces accessible to a wide audience. Of course this way is more engaging for students: each one prepare a stand and, as well as in a fair, parents can go around to join the several acticities.
3. Here is another possibility then: parents and grown-up people carry out the activities and engage kids in challenges and experiment, This way families can play together with science and they can also offer scientific activities to the whole community.
The project involves primary school students as members of the “2 x 2” (Two by Two) after school program. They are asked to provide an explanation of many experiments carried out in public parks of the city: parents and visitors can assist in amazing scientific activities connected with maths, physics, chemistry and life science. The project extension with parents as teachers has been developed in Italy by the scientific association “Aghi Magnetici”: a group of adults was initially instructed and than they did the project autonomously.
Connection with curriculum
Since students have to explain and describe a scientific topic on their own, skills involved in the activity are linked to many subjects: besides the STEM disciplines such as maths, chemistry, geometry, techbology, students particularly improve their communications skills. Multidisciplinarity is clearly one of the most didactic feature of the whole project: scientific topics, hands-on activities, inquired based learning are all involved in the one project.
Resource and material
Teachers can choose topics and subjects according to specific didactic analysis related to the class: of course they can try some activities previously carried out by colleagues. Halyna, Federico and Halyna are available, of course, to share their database: please find further information and links in the attached pdf. Here are some activity examples: “Optical illusions”, ”Ames room illusion”, “Electric circuits with bananas”, “Mills and energy from water”, “Mosaics”, “Fractals”, …
It’s an honor to receive an invitation to participate in the Science Picnic. Kids put a lot of effort into preparing for the opening day: they select a topic, develp supporting media and rehearse the presentation. Just listen to them. The responsibility and independent thinking of the youngest mathematicians from the “Two by Two” program can serve as an example for other participants of the event. The “science picnic” helps young students to develop their cognitive abilities. If we want to make our children interested in learning we have to get interested in it along with them. Social skills are involved as well: “Science picnic” project has turned out to be a truly inclusive activity since shy people and students with special needs are given the opportunity to freely express themselves. The “science picnic” carried out in Italy by “Aghi Magnetici”, with reversed roles, are stunning experiences as well as the Ukrainian ones: STEM activities engage people of any ages and, especially in unusual context, show science principles in unexpected and surprising ways.
Check out the StarT material bank for ideas and inspiration for projects and teaching practices from previous years. The material bank includes ideas, videos and descriptions for projects and practices from earlier years.
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