Identifying and supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in children’s play
STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In the real world, these disciplines are inextricably connected and rarely exist independently. For this reason it is useful to consider STEM as an integrated concept. In the real world, it is the exploration and investigation of how the world works, how we identify and solve problems creatively and how we develop and test ideas.
STEM Detectives is a practical photographic resource to encourage and guide educators to identify the STEM happening in children’s play, as well as develop the skills and understanding to support and encourage a deeper level of exploration and discovery. It discusses why STEM is important and identifies the social, economic and environmental trends that will see STEM thinking become increasingly important in a changing world.
- Looks at where STEM can be found – early years settings, at school and at home
- Shows how to identify what STEM looks like in children’s play
- Discusses the role of adults in supporting the development of STEM thinking
- Explores environments and resources to promote play that encourages engagement and creativity with STEM.
Target Age: Early Years (0-6)
About the Authors:
Niki Buchan is a senior educational consultant with Natural Learning Early Childhood Consultancy and Real World Learning Consultancy. She has lived and worked in South Africa and Scotland and has been calling Australia home since 2011. Niki has a great love for the outdoors and has been working with both adults and young children in very consultative, naturalistic and sensorial environments both indoors and outdoors for more than 35 years. She works internationally as a conference keynote speaker, nature pedagogue, mentor and author and has been invited to work in the UK, USA, Canada, Iceland, Sweden, South Korea, Norway, Denmark and South Africa. Niki has developed a reputation as a strong advocate for children’s right to a high-quality childhood with a deep concern about children’s mental health and trauma. She trusts children as being capable and competent, including their ability to assess and take their own risks. Niki believes children have a right to regular access to nature and to have their voices heard in matters that affect them. She is considered a leading voice in promoting nature-based practice.
As an environmental scientist, Bronwyn Cron is passionate about Education for Sustainability and connecting children and communities to their environment. She has spent 20 years working with schools, community groups, businesses and governments to help them think differently, build skills and knowledge and act towards a positive and sustainable future. Over the past 6 years, she has focused on building the capacity of early childhood educators and services to embed sustainability and support the development of STEM thinking skills in young children. She is passionate about making STEM accessible and engaging for everyone and fostering a love of STEM in children so that they are inspired by the possibilities of the future.