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THE LITTLE SCIENTISTS PROJECT IS SUPPORTED AND FUNDED BY THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING THROUGH THE NATIONAL INNOVATION AND SCIENCE AGENDA.


Become a certified Little Scientists House

Every service or school in Australia working with children from 3 to 6 years of age can join our professional development program and participate in our workshops. Additionally, we offer the opportunity to become a certified Little Scientists House.

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.

HOW TO APPLY


STEP 1: Check if your service meets the conditions to apply for certification.

  1. Everyday research. Scientific exploration and inquiry-based STEM learning  is an integral part of everyday life for the children at your service.
  2. Documentation. The projects, observations, experiments, research etc. are documented and follow the Little Scientists Inquiry Cycle.
  3. Ongoing Professional Development. Teachers and educators at your service take part in Little Scientists workshops twice a year.

To learn more about the prerequisites, please read this brief document.


STEP 2: Apply by completing the Certification Questionnaire

If you are ready to start your Little Scientists House certification, please fill in the contact form below and we will send you the 3 part Certification Questionnaire. Or contact us via email: info@littlescientists.org.au

Please note that the first part is to be filled in by the Service Director. The other two are to be filled out by the main Little Scientists educator or teacher. Each part takes approximately 25 minutes to fill in:

  1. Questions to management:
    In this part you will find for instance questions about the pedagogical concept/philosophy underpinning your service and about the training sessions attended.
  2. Questions to educators:
    The educators who are largely responsible for implementing STEM content in your service should answer the second part of the questionnaire. These questions relate for example to existing materials for research activities, as well as to the coordination of STEM learning content within the team.
  3. Questions about the practical case study:
    This is the most extensive part of the application. It consists of questions about your practical STEM case study and should be filled out by the educators involved in it. Practical examples can be long-term projects or project-oriented activities with STEM learning content.




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Costs:
For the Certification Application a fee of $135,- applies.

This includes the evaluation of the application by a qualified judging panel as well as the Little Scientists House plaque which will be awarded to your centre and will widely display your commitment to providing the children in your care with STEM education in the early years.

Payment will have to be made within Part 1 of the Questionnaire (completed by the Centre Director).


STEP 3: Await our feedback

Little Scientists reviews your application using the four established quality criteria. The four areas are weighted differently, with a strong emphasis on process quality. As part of this review Little Scientists will also provide you with comprehensive feedback.

  1. THE FOUNDATIONS = ORIENTATION QUALITY = 15%
    Orientation quality describes what underpins the house: Is inquiry-based STEM learning part of the educational concept/philosophy? Are Little Scientists workshops being attended?
  2. THE FRAMEWORK = STRUCTURAL QUALITY = 30%
    What does the “research space” in your service look like? What materials are available? How is scientific, mathematical or technical learning coordinated in your service?
  3. THE INTERNAL SPACE = PROCESS QUALITY = 40%
    The process quality desribes the “How”: How is research conducted in your service? As the educator, how do you guide the children’s learning? We feel it is important that the children and adults build a learning community and evolve together.
  4. THE EXTERNAL SPACE = OPENING OUTWARD = 15%
    This quality encompasses all the activities that bring outsiders into the everyday activities of your service. This can be the involvement of families, collaboration with institutions or businesses or visiting other places of learning.


STEP 4: Receive a Little Scientists House plaque and our certificate

If your application meets the quality criteria and is approved by the Little Scientists, your education and care service is awarded Little Scientists House for the following two (2) years. You will receive a plaque and a certificate.

You are then officially certified as a Little Scientists House and can publicly share your success with the children, parents, your relevant network, cooperating partners and other supporters. The plaque can be placed in a visible location to demonstrate the commitment of your service to STEM education to the outside world.

Congratulations!!!


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