StarT brings people together to celebrate the joy of learning – we would like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome you into the project. StarT promotes interdisciplinary, project-based and phenomenon-based learning – it puts science and technology into a context that is relevant for students and makes learning exciting and meaningful.
The project has been launched in honour of Finland’s centennial by the LUMA Centre Finland, and its network of cooperation partners. Schools, kindergartens, families and extracurricular activity groups from all around the world are invited to take part in StarT to share the excitement of collaborative learning. The project involves students carrying out science projects, which will be on display at science fair events organized as a part of StarT.
The main objective of StarT is to emphasize the role of the school or kindergarten as a collaborative learning environment. Project work is a wonderful and effective way to learn in a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and phenomenon-based way! The project topics in StarT are free of choice – the only requirement is a connection of some sort to science, mathematics, or technology and to StarT’s themes. They could be small-scale projects or longer learning modules related to, for instance, space, health and environment, designing mobile toys, programming robots, learning about scientific innovations through drama, or perhaps thinking about the function of mathematics in everyday life and art. StarT encourages schools and kindergartens to develop their own model of integrative project-based learning that works best for them!
The StarT five star programme deals with science, technology, art, career, and the future. It focuses around seven central themes, which can give ideas for the project work:
1. Everyday Mathematics
2. Nature and environment
3. Programming and robotics
4. Stars and space
5. This works: Mobile toys
6. Technology around us
7. Well-being (health, food, exercise)
StarT gives student projects and educational models developed by schools and kindergartens the visibility and fame they deserve through science fair events and the media. In the project student projects and innovative ideas are displayed and awarded. Welcome along!
The registration to sign up as a StarT learning community is open on the website from May to December 2016. Projects are to be carried out in schools, kindergartens, extracurricular activity groups and families from September 2016 to February 2017. Each community is free to decide on the exact duration of the project.
From January to February 2017 communities are free to organize their own StarT fairs in their own country, if they wish to, and report these in the Best Practices section of StarT. By the end of February 2017, the schools need to have submitted their top projects and best practices (submitted separately) through the StarT website. Extracurricular activity groups and families apply for nomination with their projects separately through the website. The StarT jury will assess the submitted projects and choose the ones that will make it to the StarT final.
The final – the international StarT gala – will be organized in Finland in May 2017. All participating groups will receive a StarT diploma, and other awards will be decided on by the StarT jury at a later date.
LUMA Centre Finland launches StarT initiative as a part of Finland 100 celebrations.
We kindly ask you to pass on this invitation to other schools in your home country. All are warmly welcome to StarT!
Let’s be in touch! Welcome, once more, to StarT!
Professor Maija Aksela
University of Helsinki, Finland / LUMA Centre Finland