StarT promotes interdisciplinary collaborative learning
The primary objective of StarT is to implement a new, interdisciplinary and collaborative StarT way of working and thinking, that emphasizes project-based learning and active collaboration within the learning community. StarT combines inquiry-based learning, integrative learning, and phenomenon-based learning. It also makes use of modern technology as well as other learning environments outside of school. In addition, StarT promotes an interest-driven approach to science and mathematics in schools, kindergartens, as well as different extracurricular activity groups and families. In addition, it supports girls’ interest towards science, technology and mathematics through creative working methods and contexts that girls find fascinating. StarT is a long-term project; we need more positive experiences of collaborative learning also in the future!
The joy of boundary-breaking innovation and learning
The project aims to increase the joy of innovation and learning across subject boundaries in children and youngsters. In addition, it encourages proactive, creative and innovative collaboration between different groups, individuals, and schools from all around the world. By inviting also other countries to take part, we increase global interaction and bring people together for a great cause. If they so will, schools and kindergartens world-wide can also invite their international partner schools from other countries to participate in StarT! StarT hopes to achieve children’s enhanced understanding of one’s home country as well as other cultures; this will result in increased tolerance and bring people closer to each other. The aim is that everyone learns from everyone else. Welcome to StarT!
The projects involve group work and creativity
The StarT project promotes courageous experimentation and interdisciplinary project-based learning. The StarT way of thinking and doing supports schools in their development into active learning communities. The project-based learning in StarT can focus around smaller projects or bigger inquiries to do with science, mathematics, and/or technology. The emphasis will be on collaborative activity and mobility. Student projects will be conducted related to mathematics, programming, science, and nature, that will make use of both university and company collaboration – that is, of course, if this is relevant for the age group in question. Students of all age groups from around the world are welcome! In addition, the integration of arts and sciences is promoted, for instance, through drama in the form science theatre. The projects and creations in StarT involve combining natural sciences, mathematics, and technology with other disciplines including music, visual arts, drama, and sports.
Support and ideas
The StarT five star programme stands for Science – Technology – Arts – Career – Future. StarT will work to provide participants with support and ideas for their projects.
StarT focuses around seven central themes:
1. Everyday Mathematics
2. Nature and environment
3. Programming and robotics
4. Stars and space
5. This works: Mobile toys (only for 6 – 12 years old)
6. Technology around us
7. Well-being (health, food, exercise)
StartT brings learning communities together
StarT reaches the future through the children and youngsters from all around the world both in formal education and in informal education. Formal education includes early childhood education, primary school or upper secondary education, while informal learning environments might include, for instance, clubs, camps, any extracurricular activities, or other learning environments outside the classrooms, like science centers, museums, or libraries. StarT aims to bring together learning communities from all around the world to share the excitement and the joy of learning that is common for all!
There are four levels in the implementation of the StarT project. Note that only some levels are applicable to participants from outside of Finland.
1. Local level: kindergartens, primary schools, high schools, and extracurricular activities (applies also to international schools)
2. Regional level: lead by the Finnish LUMA centers together with local partners (does not apply to international schools)
3. National level: lead by the board of the Finnish LUMA center; the so called StarT gala (applies to international schools if invited by the StarT jury)
4. International level: lead by the board of the Finnish LUMA center; organized with the StarT gala
StarT events are about learning, sharing, and enjoying success
StarT science fairs, in which student teams present their innovative projects, are to be organized in honour of Finland’s centennial as a part of StarT. Schools from outside of Finland that are participating in StarT are free to organize StarT fairs in their schools, if they wish to, and report these in the best practices section (see instructions for submission). This is, however, optional for non-Finnish schools. Activating children and youngsters is an essential part of the planning process of the science fairs – also the organization process is to include collaborative learning!
To celebrate Finland’s centennial, 100 innovative communities, 100 teachers/coordinators, and 100 project teams are to be awarded in StarT. The most innovative projects will be published as videos and pictures in the material bank of the StarT website; in this way people from all around the world learn from each other!
N.B. The instructions found on the English version of the StarT website are only for schools, kindergartens, and extracurricular activity groups participating in StarT from outside of Finland! Instructions for participants from Finland can be found on the Finnish and Swedish versions of this website.
Need tips? Read more about project based learning and its implementation!
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