The Government is committed to the development of early learning STEM resources and training for educators, to provide further opportunities for families and children to take part in fun and exciting STEM activities.
On this page:
Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA)
The University of Canberra is being funded to design, develop and pilot a suite of HTML web apps as part of the expansion of the Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) program into Foundation to Year Two, with the pilot planned for the 2024 school year. ELSA F-2 is designed to complement the Australian Curriculum outcomes using the lens of spatial reasoning and logical reasoning and aims to improve STEM literacy and numeracy in Australian schools.
The ELSA preschool 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 to build the capacity of early learning educators.
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.
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 preschool apps.
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.