21 Mar 2019
Minister for Education
STEM learning has begun for some of our littlest Territorians, thanks to this year’s introduction of the Territory Labor Government’s new, fun-based Pre-School Science Games.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are crucial areas of learning for students, with 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations worldwide requiring skills and knowledge in these areas.
Territory Labor came to government with a promise to expand access to these areas in NT schools and last year introduced the five year STEM in the NT strategy.
The 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.
The games have been specifically tailored to suit the unique NT 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 NT Pre-School Science Games resources are now available to all pre-schools, long day care facilities and family day care services.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, Selena Uibo.
“Children are at the centre of decisions made by the Territory Labor Government.
“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.
“It is never too early to start. Learning and development in the crucial early years is critical to improving learning outcomes in school and, subsequently, in boosting employment prospects.
“Investing in our children is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. We want the NT to be the most improved education system in the country and we know that prioritising STEM and early childhood investment will help us achieve this.”
Quotes attributable to Millner Pre-School Teacher, Varn Baker.
“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.
“Children used their senses to explore the world around them, made observations using their senses of sight, touch, smell and taste and, with teacher support, their vocabulary was extended.”
Quotes attributable to Science Games author, University of Melbourne’s Dr Caroline Cohrssen.
“Including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in early childhood education has been under the spotlight for some time.
“Incorporating STEM in an integrated, play-based curriculum can be challenging but we are excited to share the NT Preschool Science Games after a process of development, trialling and refinement in conjunction with preschool teachers in 2018.”
Media contact: Kim Stephens 0417 683 144