Nurturing a love for STEM in the early years: KU Mayfield Preschool

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  Published on Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Nurturing a love for STEM in the early years: KU Mayfield Preschool

Library Home  >  Approaches to Early Childhood Education
  Published on Tuesday, 21 March 2017

It's never too early to become a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) specialist and researching and implementing new ways of making STEM learning fun and inspiring is a growing priority among early childhood providers.

Case in point, KU Mayfield Preschool in Mayfield East NSW. This forward thinking early childhood setting has been certified as a Little Scientists House by Little Scientists Australia, a not-for-profit professional development program for early childhood educators and teachers combining inquiry-based learning with age appropriate STEM exploration

The preschool is the only certified Little Scientists House in the Hunter, Central Coast and Northern NSW and is one of only eight certified services in Australia.

The Little Scientists Certification is open to early childhood services and schools working with children aged from 3-6, which improve access to high quality STEM education and those which are dedicated to incorporating research and discovery into children's everyday life.

Certification includes a display plaque and the ongoing benefit of ensuring parents that your service or school is dedicated to daily playful STEM exploration in an active learning environment incorporating the concepts of inquiry-based learning, metacognition and co-construction.

The director of the service Karen Hugo said she is very proud of the certification and said it demonstrates the commitment and focus of her team of educators.

"Young children naturally engage with the world in way that can promote STEM learning. They love to investigate, observe, enquire, experiment, hypothesise and create.

This hands-on approach allows children to become engaged in the investigative nature of science and to experience the joy of having wonderful ideas, and finding out answers to their own questions," she said.

In 2016 the preschool participated in the Little Scientists 'engineering.tomorrow.together' competition as part of the Hunter Science Festival and their Paper Planes Project was named runner up in the People's Choice Award. The preschool received $500 which they used to purchase more science resources for the children.

Ms Hugo said that exposure to age-appropriate STEM learning enhances later learning.

"Research shows that the earlier we guide and support children's wonder about the world, which can be done through age-appropriate STEM exploration, the more successful they are in all areas of learning later on."

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Wednesday, 14 October 2020



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