The StarT program has been launched by the LUMA Centre Finland together with its network of cooperation partners to celebrate Finland’s centennial. Schools, kindergartens, families and extracurricular activity groups from all around the world are invited to invest in the future and take part in StarT to share the excitement of collaborative learning!
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 both exciting and meaningful. With support from StarT everyone from around the world learns together and from each other through project-based learning!
The project involves students carrying out science, math, and technology projects in schools, which will be on display at science fair events organized as a part of StarT – the project strives to give student projects and educational models developed by schools the visibility and fame they deserve. The Finnish media will also be following the progress of the projects.
StarT gives schools and kindergartens new ideas and support for the implementation of project-based learning and establishes a new kind of science-fair culture that focuses around collaboration. Learning communities network with each other, get visibility, and learn from each other as they see each other’s projects and ideas. In addition, 100 of the best student projects and practices in schools are awarded by the StarT jury to celebrate 100-year-old Finland in 2017.
This year StarT has seven exciting themes that serve as a wonderful starting point for the phenomenon-based student projects: everyday mathematics, nature and environment, programming and robotics, stars and space, mobile toys, technology around us, and well-being. The projects carried out by students can be either small-scale explorations or longer learning modules related to, for instance, space, health and the environment, designing mobile toys, programming robots, learning about scientific innovations through drama, or perhaps thinking about the function of mathematics in everyday life or in art. StarT encourages schools and kindergartens to develop their own models of integrative project-based learning that work best for them!
The main objective of StarT is to emphasize the role of the school or kindergarten as a collaborative learning environment. Learning can be exciting, meaningful, and effective all at the same time – StarT is aimed at just that!
Text: Essi Purhonen. Photo: Outi Haatainen. Updated on October, 2016.