LITTLE SCIENTISTS: Beau Worn (front) experiments with friends Jack and Luke Nelson .
LITTLE SCIENTISTS: Beau Worn (front) experiments with friends Jack and Luke Nelson . Melanie Keyte

Educators commended for budding scientists

EVERYTHING is a question mark to children, which makes them perfect scientists.

Early childhood educators across the Lockyer region were recently rewarded for channelling this natural curiosity into scientific learning, largely thanks to help from the national Little Scientists project.

Visiting Little Scientists representative Hayley Bates handed the commemorative plaques to educators from the Lowood, Rosewood and Lockyer Valley Early Education Centre and Pre-School last week and congratulated the centres on their innovative science lessons.

 

LITTLE SCIENTISTS: Tamara Small of the Rosewood centre, Tracey Siekai of Lowood and Anna Jurd of the Lockyer Valley centre with Little Scientists representative Hayley Bates receiving their plaques on November 29.
LITTLE SCIENTISTS: Tamara Small of the Rosewood centre, Tracey Siekai of Lowood and Anna Jurd of the Lockyer Valley centre with Little Scientists representative Hayley Bates receiving their plaques on November 29. Melanie Keyte

Tracey Siekai of the Lowood centre said the idea was to encourage child-led lessons relating to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

"It's about everyday learning, and building up their problem-solving skills and initiative which helps them later on in life," she said.

"Children like to be challenged, and we know they like to ask a lot of questions, so it's pretty easy to bring science into their everyday learning."

"It gives them confidence to explore questions without us prompting them," added Anna Jurd of the Gatton-based centre.

As part of the program, educators established a 'science corner' for the children to experiment at their leisure while also engaging the kids with STEM-focused workshops.

 

LITTLE SCIENTISTS: Hayley Bates shows the children some experiences at the Rosewood Early Education Centre and Pre-School on November 29. The Lowood and Lockyer Valley Gatton-based centres also received a plaque commending them for their STEM lessons.
LITTLE SCIENTISTS: Hayley Bates shows the children some experiences at the Rosewood Early Education Centre and Pre-School on November 29. The Lowood and Lockyer Valley Gatton-based centres also received a plaque commending them for their STEM lessons. Melanie Keyte

Ms Bates explained the program's goal was to immerse kids in the topics to encourage scientific-based thinking, but it wasn't all "child's play".

"We put in place education for educators so they've got the opportunity to engage with science every day," she said.

"These guys have done amazing work in their centres, especially with their water-based and colour-mixing (experiments).

"Scientists are still just little children, really, so tapping into that curiosity in this age group is really exciting."

Beau Worn, 4, said he liked "playing" with science while Jack Nelson, also 4, was convinced he had already made several significant discoveries in relation to how sand mixes with water.


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