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STEM in Kindergarten
STEM in Kindergarten is an opportunity to create a meaningful context for children’s learning through flexible learning spaces which emphasise higher order thinking and problem-solving through independent play and inquiry. Learning opportunities should support students as active, curious and questioning learners.
The role of the teacher is to help the students sustain thinking and make meaning by giving students the space and opportunities to iterate, reflect and revise. STEM inquiries therefore, are fluid and directions taken will differ depending on the children’s interests.
Overview of STEM Inquiry
Students were observed discussing how their toy cars moved and how they rolled down a slope. The investigation took hold from there as more and more students began to wonder about what might make something roll faster or roll further. Opportunities were provided for students to explore how different sized balls rolled and moved.
They explored the marble run, blocks and balls outside and a variety of loose parts. Students were introduced to digital timers to measure how quickly their ball or marble completed the course. Students were guided to think critically about how things moved by sorting and discussing different items. Opportunities were also provided for real-world connections, such as investigating the use of the tip tray on a utility truck.
Students were inspired to create their own marble run after watching a number Rube Goldberg videos. They worked both collaboratively and individually to create their project. Students were then provided with opportunities for reflection about their thinking processes and how their marble or ball moved.
The class continued to notice different types of movement and a follow on inquiry; ‘how aeroplanes fly’ continued the investigation.
Moonah Primary School is situated in Moonah, one of Hobart’s Northern suburbs. The school caters for students in Years K–6 of multicultural and diverse backgrounds from the surrounding community.
Moonah Primary School currently has 284 students.