Even though Finnish youth achieve very well in mathematics and science — according to international (e.g., PISA and TIMSS) and national results — they, however, are not interested in studying these subjects, and fewer and fewer youth choose to study these. Few youth know about the career possibilities that studying in STEM fields open, or about the Finnish innovations in the fields. It also seems to be necessary to increase the teachers’ knowledge of these fields and the career possibilities they provide.
So-called LUMA activities have been active in Finland since the 1990’s. (LUMA is abbreviated from “luonnontieteet”, the Finnish word for natural sciences, and “mathematics”.)
Between 1996 and 2002, the so-called LUMA programme was a science education development project coordinated by the Finnish National Board of Education. The aims were to raise the standard of Finnish science education and competence on international level, to improve education practices and to promote interest in science and technology. On 9 December 2003, the first LUMA Centre was established at the University of Helsinki to continue the work. One of its main goals was to strengthen the LUMA operations to promote science and technology education throughout Finland. To achieve the goal, the launch of LUMA Centres in universities around Finland was supported. Since then, twelve other LUMA Centres have been launched in different universities.
LUMA Centre Finland was established 8 November 2013 as the umbrella organization for LUMA Centres in Finnish universities and university campuses to strengthen and promote their collaboration on national and international level. LUMA Centre Finland shares the national concern over the level of competence in mathematics, science, and technology in general, and over the insufficient amount of professionals in these fields.
The aim of the LUMA Centre Finland is to inspire and motivate children and youth into mathematics, science and technology through the latest methods and activities of science and technology education. The aim is also to support the life-long learning of teachers working on levels of education from early childhood to universities, and strengthen the development of research-based teaching.
LUMA Centre Finland is an umbrella organization for LUMA Centres in Finnish universities and university campuses to strengthen and promote their collaboration on national and international level.
1. Central Finland LUMA Centre (University of Jyväskylä)
2. LUMA Centre Aalto (Aalto University)
3. LUMA Centre Lapland (University of Lapland)
4. LUMA Centre of Central Ostrobothnia (Kokkola University Campus Chydenius)
5. LUMA Centre of Ostrobothnia (University of Vaasa)
6. LUMA Centre of Southwestern Finland (University of Turku)
7. LUMA Centre of the University of Eastern Finland
8. LUMA Centre of the University of Oulu
9. LUMA Centre Päijänne Tavastia (Lahti University Campus)
10. LUMA Centre Saimaa (Lappeenranta University of Technology + Saimaa University of Applied Sciences)
11. LUMA Centre Åbo Akademi (Åbo Akademi University)
12. Tampere LUMATE Centre (University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology + Tampere University of Applied Sciences)
13. University of Helsinki LumA Science Education Centre
LUMA Centre Finland collaborates with academic experts and organizations.