LUMA Science Helsinki

LUMA Science Helsinki -tutkimusryhmä


LUMA science education has been conducted at the University of Helsinki since 2003. The LUMA Science Helsinki research group was founded at the beginning of 2021 and promotes scientific know-how and scientific literacy from early childhood education to higher education. The research group is part of the action plan of Faculty of Science and LUMA Centre Finland

research and development

LUMA Science Helsinki promotes multidisciplinary research-based science education. We use design-based research in our development. This means planning and creating new pedagogical solutions around latest scientific research and schools' needs. Currently, the following topics and themes are being researched and developed with one of the focus points being high school-university collaboration.

  • Virtual teaching and learning
  • Sustainable development
  • New pedagogical methods and approaches
  • Teacher training

The LUMA Labs at the Kumpula campus are a key part of our operations: PhysicsLab Fotoni, ChemistryLab Gadolin, Geopiste science lab for geosciences and geography, Linkki science lab for computer science and programming skills and MathLab Summamutikka.


The LUMA Science Helsinki research group consists of six doctoral students and ten research assistants. Doctoral students are referred to as science education developers, and research assistants are referred to as science education instructors. The head of the research group is Professor Maija Aksela. She is assisted by project planner Oona Kiviluoto and communication specialist Jasmin Kopra. The group also includes researchers with additional funding, such as postdoctoral researcher Jaana Herranen and doctoral student Outi Haatainen, as well as research assistants in LUMA-labs. Dissertations are supervised by several professors and docents from different departments of the University of Helsinki.

Tieteenala Science education

Postdoctoral researcher
Tieteenala Science education

Doctoral student and project manager

Doctoral student and science education specialist
Tieteenala Science education

Doctoral student, Science education developer
Tutkimusaihe High school collaboration in science education


Doctoral student, Science education developer
Tutkimusaihe Geo-education and ecological health


Doctoral student, Science education developer
Tutkimusaihe E-learning mathematics and development of automatic feedback


Doctoral student, Science education developer
Tutkimusaihe Argumentation skills in physics education


Doctoral student, Science education developer
Tutkimusaihe Sustainability competencies in chemistry education


Communication specialist
Viestintä ja yhteiskuntasuhteet


The activities of the research group are directed by a steering group appointed by the dean of the faculty. Its aim is to promote research-based science education, and the group's tasks include promoting research and research-related activities in science education in cooperation with the scientific community and teacher training.

Steering group members

  • Professor Maija Aksela, Department of Chemistry (Chairperson)
  • Associate professor Anne-Maria Ernvall-Hytönen, Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Vice-chairperson)
  • Professor Ismo Koponen, Department of Physics
  • Associate professor Noora Pyyry, Department of Geosciences and Geography 
  • University lecturer Antti Laaksonen, The Department of Computer Science 
  • University lecturer Taina Ruuskanen, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)
  • University lecturer Antti Laherto, Faculty of Educational Sciences  
  • Project planner Oona Kiviluoto acts as the secretary of the steering group


Publications will be updated as articles are published by the research group. Latest research articles:


Haatainen, O., & Aksela, M. 2021. Project-based learning in integrated science education: Active teachers’ perceptions and practices. LUMAT: International Journal on Math, Science and Technology Education, 9(1), 149–173.

Herranen, J., Aksela, M., Kaul, M. & Lehto, S. 2021. Teachers’ Expectations and Perceptions of the Relevance of Professional Development MOOCs, Education Sciences, 11(5), 240.

Vuola, K. & Nousiainen, M. 2020. Physics knowledge justification: an analysis framework to examine physics content knowledge, Nordina: Nordic studies in science education, 16(2), 149–166.