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Little Scientists Workshops

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AIECS is a Queensland Local Network Partner with the “Little Scientists” Initiative.

The Australian Institute of Early Childhood Studies is excited to announce that we are a Queensland Local Network Partner with the “Little Scientists” Initiative.  

To discover the joy of STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), children need to be given the opportunity to explore the world in a nurturing and playful setting that boosts their natural eagerness to learn. We believe this is best done by encouraging an active learning environment, where early childhood educators and teachers are learning facilitators and the children undertake the actual learning, problem-solving, exploration and research themselves.

We offer a series of workshops that empower educators and teachers working with children from 3 to 6 years of age to explore STEM with confidence and joy. Our hands-on workshops provide a range of tools and educational concepts that support the implementation of child-led discovery and research. To make scientific exploration as accessible as possible, all our workshops are built around using existing, low-cost, everyday materials.

The Little Scientists program includes a series of workshops, each with the emphasis on a specific STEM topic and educational concept, beginning with the foundation workshop exploring Water. Through every additional workshop, the participant’s confidence with respect to inquiry-based STEM learning grows, as they – step-by-step – continue to expand their knowledge and take on additional teaching strategies.

Each year we introduce new STEM workshops to provide a holistic professional development program. At each workshop, the participants receive supportive educational material providing background information on the topic, scientific facts and a variety of stimuli to encourage daily scientific research.

We offer six STEM focused workshops – WATER, AIR, OPTICS, ENGINEERING, CHEMICAL REACTIONS and COMPUTER SCIENCE, once you have completed two of the workshops you can then apply to become a “Certified Little Scientists House“.

By participating in the Little Scientists professional development program offering a series of workshops, you will be empowered with STEM confidence and learn how to implement creative and fun discovery activities with the children in your care using affordable everyday materials and recycled items.

These workshops will engage children in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related subjects from an early age (3 to 6 years of age) with a strong focus on the children’s innovative ideas and curiosity. 


Water

Have you ever met a child who is not fascinated by water? Regardless of its aggregate state – icy, cold or even hot – children love to explore the wet element from an early age.

During this workshop you will explore water with all your senses, investigate the different aggregate states of water and test the solubility of different substances.

You will be given the opportunity to learn about how science can be implemented in a free and exciting way and you will engage in different hands on experiences linked to direct teaching opportunities.

Furthermore you will be introduced to the pedagogical approach of the Little Scientists initiative and get ideas for your role as ‘learning coach’.  Discover how to implement joyful STEM exploration, and learn about the educational concepts of inquiry-based learning and co-construction.


Air

Did you know that we are carrying the weight of two elephants on our shoulders, every day of our life?

In this workshop, you will bring fresh air and wind into the room, catch soap bubbles and experience and realise that air is so much more than ‘nothing.’

You will be given the opportunity to develop further ideas for a co-constructed learning environment and explore questions that encourage children’s metacognitive thinking.

This workshop topic continues to build on your knowledge from previous, deepening your insights into the concepts of inquiry-based learning, metacognition and co-construction.


Optics

Without a shadow of doubt, your children’s eyes will sparkle like disco ball when you return from this workshop! You are invited to enjoy a day of flashing lights, colours and optical illusions.

Explore the land of mirrors, colourful shadows and nature’s paint palette.

Learn about project work and collect ideas for child-led projects that scaffold the children’s learning and development.

This workshop topic continues to build on your knowledge from previous, deepening your insights into the concepts of inquiry-based learning, metacognition and co-construction.


Engineering

See-saws, slides, and merry-go-rounds: Physical forces are part of the fun and children love to explore their effects.

Explore forces and effects: invent, design and construct.

Discover your inner engineer and find out how to encourage children’s technical thinking process in an active learning environment.

This workshop topic continues to build on your knowledge from previous, deepening your insights into the concepts of inquiry-based learning, metacognition and co-construction.

Computer Science 

Learn the foundations of computational thinking and how to “speak to a computer” by understanding how it works.

Understand the basic concepts of computational thinking and learn how to unlock the world of computers for children.

During this workshop you will immerse yourself into the world of computer science and playfully explore algorithms, sequencing and sorting without using a computer.

You will collect ideas for age-appropriate computer science experiences and learn how to recognise learning opportunities for computational concepts.

This workshop will help you uncover basic concepts of computational thinking and learn how to unlock the world of computers for children.

Chemical Reactions 

Discover chemistry in everyday life, handle ‘dangerous materials’, make a mess while experimenting with carbon dioxide and explore the properties of white substances.

Learn how children’s language development can be enhanced through STEM inquiry.

During this workshop you will discover chemistry in everyday life. You will engage in chemical experiments exploring white substances, make a mess experimenting with carbon dioxide and find chemistry in your kitchen cupboard.

The workshop will provide you with the principles of language development and help you understand the potential of STEM inquiry for language development.

Every service or school in Australia working with children from 3 to 6 years of age can join our program and participate in our workshops. Additionally, we offer the opportunity to become a certified Little Scientists House. This entitles you to your own Little Scientists Certification plaque, and the benefit of ensuring parents that your service or school is dedicated and continuously implementing the latest in inquiry-based STEM learning.

Early STEM education is prioritized and supported through the Australian Government Department of Education and Training’s Australian National Innovation and Science Agenda.

The overarching goal of the Little Scientists STEM program is to improve access to high quality education for all children from an early age and to support the long-term quality development of all education and care services nationwide that are dedicated to incorporate research and discovery into the children’s everyday life.

The Little Scientists Certification entitles you to your Certification plaque and the 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 Little Scientists Project is supported and funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training through the National Innovation & Science Agenda.

Little Scientists Australia is a not-for-profit professional development program for early childhood educators and teachers, combining inquiry-based learning with age-appropriate STEM exploration (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

For more information and dates contact – College Admin – 07 3451 9990 or admin@aiecs.com.aurg.au/

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