Northern Territory Minister for Education Selena Uibo
From Little Things Happen Big For STEM
Victor P Taffa
STEM learning has begun for some of our littlest Territorians, thanks to this year’s introduction of the Northern Territory Government’s new, fun-based Pre-School Science Games.
“Children are at the centre of decisions made by the Territory Government.” Minister for Education Selena Uibo said.
“We are equipping our students for the jobs of the future by giving them the skills they need to live and work in the 21st Century.”
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are crucial areas of learning for students, with 75 % of the fastest growing occupations worldwide requiring skills and knowledge in these areas.
“Millner Pre-School trialled the Science Games, which we found engaged children in wonder, curiosity and scientific thinking. The games included biological, chemical and physical sciences and were integrated in the play-based curriculum.” Millner Pre-School Teacher Varn Baker said.
Northern Territory came to government with a promise to expand access to these areas in Northern Territory schools and last year introduced the 5-year STEM in the Northern Territory strategy.
“Including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in early childhood education has been under the spotlight for some time.” Science Games author University of Melbourne’s Dr. Caroline Cohrssen said.
Northern Territory Pre-School Science Games form part of the strategy and have been designed with the University of Melbourne to help build young children’s curiosity for science in a fun and engaging way.
Games have been specifically tailored to suit the unique Northern Territory environment, with much of it designed for the outdoors, while also helping to support early childhood teachers deliver science-based learning.
After being trialled at 11 preschools last year, the Northern Territory Pre-School Science Games resources are now available to all pre-schools, long day care facilities and family day care services.