StarT is a science education programme by LUMA Centre Finland that has now been granted the Global Best Awards 2018 as Europe’s best programme bridging the gap between working life and STEM education at schools. The award ceremony took place in Houston, Texas at the International Partnership Network (IPN) conference. The IPN is an international education and working life partnership network.
The Global Best Awards 2018 winners were chosen around the world in six categories, and StarT was awarded as Europe’s best in the STEM (”Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”) category. The award was also granted to the Norwegian “Girls and Technology” project, which then continued to be awarded also as world’s best STEM education project. The criteria for the award was that the winner engages young people to STEM related careers and improves their employability in these fields.
In addition to StarT, also another project from Finland received an award: Pikkuyrittäjät were awarded as Europe’s best entrepreneurship and employability skills programme.
StarT is an international and collaborative education initiative in which everyone learns together through interdisciplinary project-based learning. StarT supports children and youngsters and teachers with their science, technology and mathematics projects on all levels of education internationally.
The Director of the LUMA Centre Finland, professor Maija Aksela from the University of Helsinki considers the prize as a remarkable recognition for Finnish science education.
– This international award is a fantastic recognition for the LUMA Centre Finland – a network of 11 universities – for our collaborative and international operational culture. In our initiatives the newest findings from research are creatively transformed into initiatives that benefit children and youngsters, the stars of the future. In StarT we learn from each other through different cultures and create together a better world, Aksela says.
LUMA Centre Finland launched the StarT programme together with their partners in honour of Finland’s centenary in 2016 with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö as the official patron of the programme. Annually over 50 cooperation partners of LUMA Centre Finland have contributed to the programme. The signing up for this year’s StarT is now open on StarT’s webpage. Since 2016 the StarT participants have been from over 40 countries around the world.
The LUMA Centre Finland celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.