WHAT DOES S.T.E.M. LOOK LIKE
AT ST PETERS LUTHERAN
EARLY LEARNING CENTRE?
S = SCIENCE
T = TECHNOLOGY
E = ENGINEERING
M = MATHEMATICS
STEM is a philosophy used by educators to help integrate knowledge across disciplines, encouraging children to think in a more connected and holistic way.
Why STEM in Early Childhood? Because integration is what we do best.
The focus in Early Childhood Education is on the whole child
Children’s natural inclination is to PLAY and during play they are exploring, building and questioning. They are in fact being natural scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
Preschool children are perfectly adapted to learn STEM concepts. The secret is to tap into their natural and innate curiosity about the living world. By simply allowing them to investigate, by encouraging them to ask questions about the real world, we are engaging children in STEM.
Have a close look at the photographs. Can you see the many ways we are developing their intellect? We have deliberately placed real life learning opportunities in their environment which encourage them to explore, investigate, question, communicate, reason, predict, hypothesise and problem solve?
Children are naturally curious. Our challenge is not to dampen their curiosity through overly structured approaches. Research tells us that a large proportion of adults do not like maths or science and this is often because of negative experiences in schooling. Our aim is to keep the spark alive because these disciplines are part of everyday life and we know that during the early years children develop long-term habits of learning.
Every learning space in our ELC has early years educational pedagogy as its foundation and is designed to amplify learning.
We create hands-on learning activities and work alongside and question children. We stimulate their learning by asking ‘What’ questions. This focuses children’s attention on what they are noticing and doing. “What has happened to the celery?” and “What shapes can you see in those rocks?” are questions that invite children to observe, communicate and be the experts.
AS THEY SAY ‘A PICTURE SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS’.