LUMA Center STEM Education in Early Childhood Education

TypeOpen for all



TopicsGINTL Network, Teacher Education

Finnish Early Childhood Education and Care series, Webinar #4, with Prof. Maija Aksela, Reija Pesonen, and Dr. Jenni Vartiainen

26 April 2022, 13:00–16:00 EET (18:00–21:00 Beijing time)

Welcome to the fourth webinar on the LUMA Center STEM education in early childhood education with guest speakers Prof. Maija Aksela, Reija Pesonen, and Dr. Jenni Vartiainen.

The series is focused on the Unique Finnish Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) System and pedagogy and early childhood teacher education as key elements ensuring the equitability and quality of ECEC. The webinar will share the best research, practices, and concrete pedagogical methods of early childhood education in Finland and discuss them with Chinese partners.


Reija Pesonen

Reija Pesonen has worked in ChemistryLab Gadolin first as an instructor and currently as one the coordinators. Her background is in chemistry and mathematics education.

Prof. Maija Aksela

Professor Maija Aksela has over 30-year-experience in science education and teacher training in Finland. She has two hats: she is the head of both national LUMA Centre Finland and the Unit of Chemistry Teacher Education in the Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki. The LUMA represents Finnish model to promote math, science and technology education. She has published about 380 publications. Many research projects are going on supporting both formal and nonformal science education.  Professor Aksela is leading the special LUMA Finland program for years 2021-24 sponsored by Ministry of Finland. She has many international collaboration tasks and activities, for example she has been Finland’s representative of the ALLEA (ALL European Academies) working group on Science Education. Professor Aksela has received altogether 14 honours or awards.

Dr. Jenni Vartiainen

Jenni Vartiainen is a researcher and she holds a university lecturer position at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Educational Sciences. Her research interests are young children’s playful STEAM education and scientific literacy in a cultural-historical context. She’s also interested in scientific identity and equality in science education.  In her research, Jenni has developed a play-based science education model for young children. The model combines play, stories, imagination, and early STEAM education and it is applied to early science education in 30 countries. Jenni is active in the popularization of science and mathematics. She has written fictional science books for children, pedagogical guides for teachers and she has co-authored the manuscript for children’s science TV show and mathematics TV show.

Members of our network

We are a network of dedicated scholars and practitioners, who work jointly with our partners to co-create research-based solutions for local needs.

Together, we can spark cycles of learning for better education. 

Project coordinators

GINTL Finnish higher education institutions