Members of the Maker@STEAM community have several externally funded projects. Projects engage in e.g. educational design-based research, teacher-researcher partnership as well as material and artefact research in cultural context. Research applies advanced data gathering technologies including eye-tracking, experience sampling methods, video observation and experimental research methods. Data are analysed with sophisticated analysis methods such as network analysis.

The members of Maker@STEAM operate in the following research groups and projects.
Craft and craft education

Research in Craft Studies covers broadly different areas of craft, such as:

  • designers and makers of craft products,
  • designing and making processes and product development,
  • machines, tools and materials used in crafts.

Craft Studies is a multidisciplinary field of research. A research object can be approached from a psychological, physiological, social, cultural, economical or technological point of view. Craft studies analyses creative and productive activities of human beings.

Craft Education investigates teaching and learning crafts, and educational systems. Research focuses on teaching and learning skills, interaction and collaboration in craft.

Research themes are:

  • designing and making craft products
  • virtual collaborative designing
  • craft as a cultural activity
  • future of craft
  • craft skills and knowledge
  • teaching and learning crafts

The research group is directed by Professor Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen.

Creative Technology Education - CreaTE

CreaTE - Creative Technology Education research group focuses on investigating multidisciplinary and creative technology education from early childhood to higher education, and develops continuous learning in the field. The group combines learning sciences and craft science expertise from the University of Helsinki and multidisciplinary technology education expertise from Aalto University. Our research themes include creative, technology-enriched learning and teaching practices, inclusive technology education, multidisciplinary team teaching in technology education, and maker mindset. We are committed to research-practice partnership in the OpiT! continuous technology education program and collaborate with the participants of the program in wide-ranging research and development of technology education.


The research group is directed by Associate Professor Kaiju Kangas.


Generation AI

Maker-Centered Learning: Cultivating creativity in tomorrow’s schools

OpiT! – Teknologiakasvatuksen jatkuvan oppimisen ohjelma

OpiT: Teknologifostran

Cultivating Expertise in Learning of Life Sciences (CELLS)

The major goal of our multidisciplinary research project Cul­tiv­at­ing Ex­pert­ise in Learn­ing of Life Sci­en­ces (CELLS) is to investigate the development of expertise in higher education in context of life sciences. The study focuses on university students' professional development and on university teachers' pedagogical expertise. Various research methods, such as eye-tracking and mixed reality learning environments, are utilized in our studies.

Manager of the project is University Lecturer Ilona Södervik.

Digital learning at schools

In the group of Digital Learning at Schools, “digital learning” is understood broad way. We are interested in how digital tools and digitalization change teaching and learning and how teaching and learning can be changed by digital tools. In collaboration with faculty researchers and project partners, we are analyzing the role of digital tools at school and how digital tools can be applied a novel way to engage students to learn to make a contribution. Resent project have been related to e.g. science teaching, computational thinking, and sustainability inventions.

Project on Virtual reality in teacher education (Heidi Krzywacki, Ari Poutiainen). 

Contact, Professor Kalle Juuti.

Food, culture and learn­ing

The research group, Food, culture and learning, focuses on subject-didactic questions related to the teaching and learning of home economics within various cultural settings and school levels, ranging from comprehensive school to higher education. We are especially interested in formal teaching and learning situations, such as in the classroom, but also within informal learning environments such as homes or NGOs.

Teachers’ practical mastery of food preparation skills is key for obtaining a high level of professionalism. Without having one’s own foundation of strong practical skills, the home economics teacher will be unable to focus on pedagogical issues within the learning environment, and provide individual support for their students build a safe and equal learning environment where the students feel free to experiment and learn new things. Home economics teachers in higher education must find a balance between cultivating generic skills (i.e., being reflective and critical) and subject-specific skills (i.e., having practical skills and knowledge of sustainable choices in everyday life).

The whole research group has actively promoted national and international research co-operation, participated in discussions on our latest research findings, consulted, and tutored young researchers, as well as organized expert meetings, seminars, and symposiums. 

The research group is directed by Professor Päivi Palojoki.

Read more about this research project in Finnish.

Mathematics and Science Education

Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics education research as well as research on Environmental Studies and Sustainability Education,  focusing on teachingto teaching and learning of each discipline or interdisciplinary area. Moreover, the focus of the research is on several interdisciplinary themes, such as sustainability education, scientific literacy, nature and history of scientific knowledge, the use of technology in STEM education, conceptual understanding, motivation and affects, the professional development of teachers and teacher education. The epistemological background draws on mathematics, science and educational sciences including as well as on pedagogy, psychology, sociology and philosophy. The research

  • is organised through activities within the research projects with clear aims and often with external funding;
  • promotes international collaboration in the research projects;
  • stimulates the recruitment of doctoral candidates forto the research projects;
  • develops doctoral training on the international level.

Furthermore, researchers are working in mathematics and science teacher education and, therefore, the research focuses on the themes concerning teaching and learning mathematics and science or teacher education. The aim is to maintain and further develop the basis for research-based teacher education. For this purpose, the research focuses on two themes: 

  • research on teacher education in the framework of university pedagogy; 
  • research on teaching and learning of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology subjects.

Researchers have a national and societal responsibility to develop national scientific discourse concerning the respective disciplines and teachers‘ pre- and in-service training in Finland.



Building on scientific literacy in evolution towards scientifically responsible Europeans (EuroScitizen)

Biodiversity for science and sustainability education (BSSE)

Learning of the competencies of effective climate change mitigation and adaptation in the education system (ClimComp)

Developing future-oriented science education (FEDORA)

Upskilling Digital pedagogy for Teachers and Future Teachers

Designing and Enacting Coherent Science Teacher Education

Growing mind

Addressing Attractiveness of Science Career Awareness

Co-constructing mathematics motivation in primary education - A longitudinal study in six European countries


Contacts: Markku Hannula (Mathematics), Antti Laherto and Jari Lavonen (Physics and Chemistry), Anna Uitto (Biology) 

Mathematics motivation in primary education  


We are interested in how motivation to learn mathematics develops during primary education and what affects this development. Declining development in Finnish students' mathematics performance has highlighted the importance of mathematics competence and motivation research. Therefore, it is especially important to investigate the role of classroom practices and children’s home environment in positive development of motivation for learning mathematics.  

Our research group participates in international research project Co-constructing mathematics motivation in primary education - A longitudinal study in six European countries project (MATHMot).  

The group of Mathematics motivation in primary education is led by docent Anu Laine.  

Materials, artefacts, colour and craft futures

Research is multi- and inter-disciplinary. It focuses broadly on materials, artefacts, colour and craft as such and from the processes point of view. The time scale of research extends from history to the futures perspectives. Sustainability is in the core of the research.

Director of the BioColour project is Professor Riikka Räisänen.

Mul­tiple mo­bile gaze track­ing in so­cial in­ter­ac­tion

The aim of our research is to develop sufficient measures and novel knowledge on the social visual attention in the field of mathematics teaching and learning. Classroom interaction has been explored on macro-level throughout decades. Our purpose is to move on to the micro-level of evidence and broaden the results received with momentary physiological measurements back to the field of educational discourse.

Our research project, MathTrack, is funded by the Academy of Finland and conducted in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. The MathTrack project is a study of classroom interactions, which aims to take into full consideration the complexity of social and embodied processes of learning. We use multiple mobile gaze trackers to study the visual attention of four students and their teacher in realistic classroom settings. Using multiple mobile gaze tracking provides us with a view of how the students’ and teachers’ visual attention shifts in real classrooms.

The research group is directed by Professor Markku Hannula.

Research projects of Maker@STEAM in the University of Helsinki Research Portal