- Finland, Finland and other countries.
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.
In the international StarT, learning communities get support, recognition and awards for carrying out interdisciplinary, collaborative project-based learning. Everyone can participate annually by reporting their work. The topic of the projects is free of choice, the only requirement is a link to science, technology or mathematics and to one of the StarT themes. The StarT programme includes also StarT events, a virtual science club, and cooperation with StarT ambassadors, corporations and universities.
The main goal of StarT is to encourage schools to a new interdisciplinary, collaborative culture of working and thinking, based on research and the practices emphasized in the latest core curriculum of Finland. The main objective is to highlight the role of learning communities as collaborative learning environments.
Since 2016, the StarT participants have been from over 40 countries around the world.
1. Local level: StarT projects are carried out in kindergartens, primary schools, middle schools, high school, and extracurricular activity groups, etc.
2. StarT-Days: Children, young people and educators get to share their work with their own
local community, which is wider than the community where the StarT projects were created.
3. StarT-Fests: Regional LUMA Centres organize regional science festivals where participants get to share their work with an even wider audience. In addition to Finland, also a few other countries have started organizing StarT-Fests.
4. International level: the outcomes of the projects are shared around the world in an annual international public voting. The best projects and best educational practices are awarded annually at the International LUMA StarT Gala.
5. In the end, LUMA Centre Finland collects the projects to a public, free material bank for educational purposes. The material bank is updated annually.
StarT encourages young people to take up an interest in science, technology and mathematics and to strengthen their science skills.
In the period 2018 - 2019, almost 640 children and young people from 17 countries participated in the StarT program, both in regional StarT festivals and in the national/international StarT competition, with their different STEAM-related projects. In addition, more than 260 good teaching practices were reported. During the time, more than 900 learning communities have shared the joy and practices of learning. Most of the participants are outside from Finland.
StarT is a comprehensive model of connecting STEAM education and Open Schooling via project-based learning, collaboration and a competition. All told, an inspiring model for companies, researchers, universities and other organizations closer to schools, kindergartens and other learning communities.
Project-based learning, co-creation, phenomenon-based learning, inquired-based science education.
StarT gives schools and kindergartens new ideas and support for the implementation of project-based learning. It establishes a new kind of science festival culture that focuses on collaboration.
The implementations of StarT projects include various operations where practical methods of science are needed.
Everyone can participate. Only requirement is reporting: a short video, a concise learning diary and a comprehensive written description (best practices).
In StarT, both young people and teachers share their expertise and creativity with their peers, homes and educators worldwide, providing everyone participating with new ideas and inspirations.
Students from early childhood education to upper secondary schools are encouraged to learn together and from each other through collaborative working.
StarT encourages schools and kindergartens to develop their models of interdisciplinary project-based learning that work best for them.
LUMA Centre Finland implements the International LUMA StarT Gala, and regional Start-Fests are implemented by regional LUMA Centres. The StarT projects itself are organized by the participating learning communities with the support of regional LUMA Centres, partners and experts.
The StarT jury assesses the projects using the reports submitted by the participants. In practice, the StarT judges go through all the reported projects and best practices according to the assessment criteria (https://start.luma.fi/en/start-programme/assessment-and-awards/), considering the age of team members. For example, more teacher support may be allowed for pre-school children than primary school students.
After assessment, the jury decides the projects that continue to the public voting. After the public voting, the StarT jury will nominate the projects for the International LUMA StarT awards. The winners of the International LUMA StarT awards are announced at the International StarT Gala.
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The StarT program is open for everyone apart from a social or economical background. StarT offers plenty of supportive contents for carrying out project-based learning. For example, it provides free virtual science clubs that anyone can participate in at any time, and from anywhere (https://start.luma.fi/en/start-goedu-virtual-science-club/). LUMA Center Finland also keeps and update a free on their website (https://start.luma.fi/en/materials/materials/).
StarT projects involve combining natural sciences, mathematics, and technology with other disciplines including music, visual arts, drama, languages, and sometimes even sports.
Students and pupils get familiar with scientific and practical knowledge while creating their projects.
As said, the main objective of StarT program is to emphasize the role of learning communities as collaborative learning environments.
Students’ projects and the educators’ best practices will be on display at different StarT events (StarT-Days, StarT-Fests, international public voting, StarT Gala) allowing them to get recognition on a local, national and international level.
StarT promotes competence in STEAM subjects according to the national plan of action validated by the Finnish National Board of Education.
This depends on the project. Some projects may include more digital technology than the others.
Cooperation seems successful and supports the project’s long-term sustainability. In 2018, the StarT program was granted the Global Best Awards 2018 as Europe’s best program bridging the gap between working life and STEM education at schools.
The external partners are needed to give support for:
• Producing engaging materials for teachers and students.
• Scholarships for students as awards.
• Organizing regional StarT festivals.
• Organizing the International StarT gala.
• Transporting the project teams to the festivals and gala.