"Not everyone will be a scientist, but all students need scientific knowledge to understand our world"

Recently, both the United States and Finland have developed new science standards that stress the value of instructional activities that are interesting, challenging, and relevant to students' lives and futures. This project is a collaboration between researchers and teachers in the both countries to:


  1. Measure the academic, social, and emotional learning of students in secondary science classes
  2. Investigate the effect of the implementation of a new form of science instruction modeled after the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  3. Create an integrated exchange program between the United States and Finland for students, teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and policy leaders to foster the professional development of science teachers and improvement of teacher education programs.


Since 2013, our team has been studying student engagement. Our perspective is that student engagement is temporally situated and changeable and that what students experience in their everyday classrooms should be examined. However, this has received only limited attention from the research community. We seek to contribute to this area of research by determining how engagement can be measured in situ, identifying activities that enhance engagement, and analyzing links between engagement and a range of student outcomes.


Our Project Team

Our research collaboration is lead by professors from University of Helsinki and Michigan State University.

Katariina Salmela-Aro

Professor of Education in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki

Jari Lavonen

Professor of Physics and Chemistry Education in Faculty of the Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki

Barbara Schneider

John A. Hannah University Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Department of Sociology, Michigan State University

Joseph Krajcik

Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education and director of the CREATE for STEM Institute, Michigan State University

The Finnish Team: