Early Learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

For: 

Under the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Government is investing in the development of early learning STEM resources and training for educators, as well as more opportunities for families and children to take part in fun and exciting STEM activities.

Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA)

The University of Canberra is being funded to support the Foundation to Year Two expansion of the Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) program to improve STEM literacy and numeracy in Australian schools. The ELSA program pilot developed a series of play-based digital apps, linked to the Early Years Framework (EYLF) and the Australian Curriculum: Foundation, to facilitate engagement in foundational STEM practices for preschool children and build the capacity of early learning educators. The ELSA apps include four play-based learning apps for preschool children, a resources app for educators and an information app for parents.

The Smith Family is being funded to extend the Let’s Count program, an early mathematics program for children aged three to five which is aligned to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). It supports educators and parents to develop the mathematics skills of the children in their care by noticing, exploring, and talking about mathematics using everyday activities to help develop the early numeracy skills of disadvantaged children.

FROEBEL Australia Limited is being funded to extend Little Scientists, a program to help early learning educators to build their skills and confidence in STEM, so that they can lead fun and inquiry-based learning, using everyday materials with preschool children.

Let's Count

The Smith Family is being funded to expand the Let's Count program to more Australian communities and to develop an online Let's Count training facility for educators as well as a parent resource. The Let's Count program is an early mathematics program for children aged three to five which is aligned to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). It supports educators and parents to develop the mathematics skills of the children in their care by noticing, exploring, and talking about mathematics using everyday activities.

Little Scientists

The Government is providing funding to Froebel Australia Limited to extend the reach of the Little Scientists program. Little Scientists helps early learning educators to build their skills and confidence in understanding STEM ideas and concepts, so that they can lead fun and inquiry-based learning activities, using everyday materials with preschool children.

Early Learning STEM Research

The Government engaged Victoria University in 2016 to look at the quality and range of STEM education apps available for early learning in preschools. Apps were assessed on how they met the learning outcomes as stated in the Early Years Learning Framework.

The research found that despite a large number of STEM apps being on the market, only a few are useful to educators to encourage STEM in early learning. This research was used to inform the development of the ELSA apps.

More information

Information about further support for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) can be found here at the Support for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) page of this website.