About us

We promote competence in LUMA subjects 

LUMA Centre Finland promotes competence in LUMA subjects (i.e. mathematics, science and technology) according to its strategy (PDF) and plan of action validated by the board. The mission of LUMA Centre Finland -network is to reach a high level of knowhow in science and technology among pupils, students and teachers and to ensure a sufficient number of science and technology professionals all across Finland. 

To achieve this, LUMA Centre Finland inspires and motivates children and youth into mathematics, science and technology through the latest methods and activities of science and technology education. The centre supports the life-long learning of teachers working on all levels of education from early childhood to universities. It also strengthens the development of research-based teaching.

Our network brings together 13 regional LUMA Centres

LUMA Centre Finland is an umbrella organization for 13 LUMA Centres in Finnish universities. The centre strengthens and promotes their collaboration.

Each regional centre works within their own region but also focuses on their own topics and themes.

Regional LUMA Centres

  1. Aalto University Junior
  2. Central Finland LUMA Centre (University of Jyväskylä)
  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. Junior University (LUT University + Saimaa University of Applied Sciences)
  11. Skolresurs (Åbo Akademi University)
  12. Juniversity (Tampere University)
  13. University of Helsinki Science Education

Our science and technology education research

LUMA Centre Finland’s main purpose is to use scientific research to develop pedagogical innovations into math, science/environmental studies, and technology teaching according to its research strategy.

The iterative methodology of design-based research (DBR) is used significantly in research because it not only produces new theoretical information, but also new practical solutions that directly serve daily operations, such as learning environments, operational concepts, pedagogical approaches, and data. Based on the acquired theoretical research data, it is possible to develop current and new forms of operation.

We use design-based research as a basis for our activities. It progresses through several phases, combining theoretical and practical knowledge in a systematic manner.
We use the following design-based research model as a basis for our science education activities.

See the Research and development policy of the LUMA Centre Finland (PDF).

LUMAT Science Research Forum aims to deepen the collaboration between science education researchers in Finland and globally. It also publishes a double peer-reviewed open access journal LUMAT on math, science and technology education.

Pupils from Lauttasaari elementary school attending to StarT-programme.

The StarT-programme and competition promote project based learning in STEM-subjects

In StarT-programme, students from early childhood education to upper secondary school learn together and from each other through collaborative working by carrying out interdisciplinary projects in groups. These projects created by children and youths allow teachers and educators to naturally incorporate science, mathematics, and technology with any subject.

StarT promotes project-based learning and active collaboration within the learning community and outside of it. Through project-based learning, the students get real-life experiences of science, technology and mathematics. StarT-programme combines schools and kindergartens with companies, researchers, other schools, universities and organizations. Learning can be exciting, meaningful, and effective all at the same time – StarT is just that!

LUMA-finland book cover Learn more about work on STEAM science education from the novel online book.

The key figures of our activities in 2017–2020*

  • Altogether about 61 3000 persons participated yearly to our activities.
  • Internationally acclaimed StarT-programme had plenty of participants from over 50 countries.
  • Yearly, about 4 100 teachers and 41 800 children and young people from Finland participated actively in the StarT-programme.
  • Each year, we organized free in-service training for 4 300 professionals on the field on education on average.
  • We produced on average 50 scientific publications each year.
  • About 20 000 pupils and teachers visited our science and technology labs each year.

*Same participants can be included in several categories.

The attendants on the global millennium youth camp of 2014.

Background of LUMA Centre Finland

So-called LUMA activities have been arranged in Finland since the 1990’s. (LUMA is an abbreviation from the Finnish words for natural sciences and mathematics).

Finnish youth achieve very well in mathematics and science according to international (e.g., PISA and TIMSS) and national results. However, fewer pupils are interested in studying these subjects. 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.

Between 1996 and 2002,  the Finnish National Board of Education coordinated the so-called LUMA programme as a science education development project. The aims of the project 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 University of Helsinki established the first LUMA Centre to continue this work. One of its main goals was to strengthen the LUMA operations to promote science and technology education throughout Finland. Since then, twelve other LUMA Centres have been launched in different universities.

LUMA Centre Finland began in 8 November 2013 as the umbrella organization for LUMA Centres in Finnish universities and university campuses. It was established also to strengthen and promote their collaboration. LUMA Centre Finland shares the national concern over the level of competence in mathematics, science, and technology as well as the insufficient amount of professionals in these fields.

International cooperation in STEM education

The Centre belongs to the Science on Stage Europe as well as to the EU STEM Coalition.