StarT projects

StarT projects are made by student teams. A StarT project gives children and youngsters a chance to show their expertise, and to make use of their own interests and creativity. The form and the topic of the project can be almost anything you can think of – to participate you only have to provide us with a short video describing the project and a concise learning diary, and make sure that the project has a link to one of the StarT themes and to science, technology and/or mathematics. As such, StarT projects can easily be adjusted to fit any curriculum.

In accordance to the newest national core curriculum of Finland, we appreciate the students’ active role throughout the whole project. We encourage the participants to base the projects in the questions and interests of the students. In addition to that, an interdisciplinary approach is encouraged. The projects and creations in StarT combine natural sciences, mathematics, and technology with other disciplines including music, visual arts, drama, and sports.

It is important that the project is a product of the students’ work. However, the teacher or the instructor will naturally support the students throughout the project, but the degree of this support should be adjusted to the age of the students. Let your students use their creativity and explore their own questions and ideas!

To participate, make sure that your project complies with the following:

  1.  It includes a project creation
    At the end of the project, there should be an end product. It can be for example the results of your research presented in a visual way, a game you can play, a work of art, a moving toy, a robot or a play – anything you can think of! We appreciate creativity and new innovations. If you participate in the theme “This works!“, please make sure you comply with the material list.
  2.  A video describing your project 
    Create a short video of your project creation (max 3 min). Show your team in the video, too! The assessment of the project work focuses around creativity, innovative ideas, collaboration, as well as the presentation of the projects. If the video is not spoken in English, it must include English subtitles. Please note:  the same video cannot be used to report a StarT project and a best practice. The StarT project videos are primarily made by the students and should describe the students’ work and the end product. A best practice video describes what has been done from the educator’s point of view. 
  3. A project diary
    All project teams must keep and submit a concise learning diary. The form of the diary is free of choice: it can be text, photos and/or video… The StarT jury will also consider the students’ reflections about their own projects when assessing the projects. The diaries are to outline what students learned during the project and how well they feel they did. The diaries can be created in the native tongue of the students, but to assess the project, we will need at least a summary of the diary in English.
  4. The project has a link to science, mathematics or technology (combining them with each other and other subjects is encouraged!)
  5. The project has a link to one of the StarT themes. Please note the special instructions for the theme “This works!“.
  6. The submitted projects must have been ongoing at some point in 2018-2019.

Read more about the assessment of the projects and awards here.

Team size and student age

The size of the team is not predetermined: some projects, like theatre, require a big team, others (like programming a game) may be easier to carry out in smaller groups. A StarT project cannot, however, be created alone: the minimum team size is two students. 

“This works” -theme: special age and team size requirements

One of the seven StarT themes, “This works!”, is a slight exception to the above mentioned criteria. It is targeted only at grades 1-6 (7-12 y.o.), and it requires a team that consists of 3-5 students. Furthermore, it has a special material list.

Form of the project

Only your imagination sets the limits to what the project can look like! A StarT project can be a small-scale project or a large-scale inquiry. Developing a mobile toy, designing a game, programming a robot, setting up a science theatre, thinking of a solution to an everyday problem, or even making a musical, could be great ways to get involved! But do not let these suggestions limit you – you decide what your project results in!

Need tips? Have a look at our material bank, participate in our online courses and read more here and here about project based learning and its implementation!

How to participate

Register as a learning community before the end of October 2018 for additional support. Report your work (videos and learning diaries) by February 2019 (date tbc). Registration as a learning community is not obligatory but it is recommended so that we can provide you with support and news about the latest materials and ideas.