National development program, LUMA2020, brought new openings, materials and inspired collaboration between schools, universities and industry

LUMA Centre Finland (11 universities and 13 centers) implemented a national LUMA2020 program (2019-2020) which was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The main objective of the national LUMA2020 program was to inspire and motivate children and young people to engage in mathematics, science and technology. To achieve that goal, the program produced new solutions and pedagogical models based on the latest research and co-design. The program also generated collaboration between schools, universities and industry. The concept of learning community was promoted, and program aimed to support implementation of the national core curriculum.

The national LUMA2020 program provided all teachers, from early childhood education to universities, continuous professional development. It offered an opportunity for cross-curricular collaboration and development of teaching methods. The main objectives were achieved well despite the program’s fast schedule and exceptional circumstances. The participating teachers were very satisfied with the program based on the evaluation. It has provided tools e.g. to support multidisciplinary project-based learning, and to support co-design and learning community approaches.

The program inspired teachers to try new methods and increased collaboration between teachers as well as between the students. The LUMA2020 also increased collaboration with the 13 LUMA centres. Teachers felt that the program developed the skills of learning and teaching, and increased the interest of both, teachers and students, in the thematic areas of the program. More than two-thirds of teachers responded that they would re-participate in similar programs in the future.

The learning communities worked in the program under four themes: Sustainable Development (e.g. climate change and circular economy), Mathematics around us (e.g. art, economics and statistics), Technology around us (e.g. mobile device, artificial intelligence, robotics) and My LUMA (optional theme related to STEAM subjects).

Working together, getting excited and learning. Our program created inspiring new openings and increased a collaborative culture. In particular, virtual materials and educational models developed with co-design, increased equal science education for all. A great tool for this was the design-based research, which has long been used in LUMA operations. The collaboration with the industry was fruitful and we created new materials and ways of working, says Professor Maija Aksela, Director of the LUMA2020 program and LUMA Centre Finland.

All materials produced in the program are shared on the program’s website with a charge. The materials also include three Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for lifelong learning that are open throughout 2021. Courses are aimed for pre-service and in-service teachers from early childhood education to high school and vocational school education. LUMA2020 provided new, collaboration-based virtual education models, such as teacher workshops, several virtual science clubs and camps and Science in society -series that was created with the industry.

A total of 81 experts from 11 universities participated in the program. Experts supported approximately 450 in-service teachers in a total of 381 program-related events. There were 160 learning communities, including kindergartens, primary schools, high schools, vocational schools and hobby schools. The events included, for example, study visits to universities, schools and kindergartens, in-service training and meetings, and online meetings. In the spring, the program was made completely virtual due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The final report of the LUMA2020 program can be read here (in Finnish).

All the materials, MOOCs and more information here (in Finnish and in Swedish).

Contact information:

  • Professor Maija Aksela, LUMA Centre Finland, University of Helsinki,
  • Project Manager Oona Kiviluoto, LUMA Centre Finland,
  • Counsellor of Education Paavo-Petri Ahonen, Ministry of Education and Culture,