STEM PD for early childhood educators
Who are we?
Little Scientists Australia, an initiative of FROEBEL Australia, is a not-for-profit professional development program for early childhood educators and teachers. Little Scientists’ hands-on workshops combine inquiry-based learning with age-appropriate STEM exploration and encourage daily scientific exploration with children aged 3 to 6 years. Little Scientists Australia is a not-for-profit initiative of FROEBEL Australia Limited. The Little Scientists program is supported and funded by the Australian Government through its Student Support Package.
See the STEM in the every day
Watch the video to learn how the Little Scientists program helps educators discover and implement STEM as part of everyday learning.
The workshop program
Affordable, professional development aligned to the NQF and EYLF.
At Little Scientists, we believe that to discover the joy of STEM, children need to be given the opportunity to explore the world in a nurturing and playful setting that boosts their natural eagerness to learn. Our overarching goal is to enable access to high quality education for all children from an early age and to ensure the competitiveness of Australia’s workforce in the future.
Our holistic workshop program empowers educators and teachers working with children from 3 to 6 years of age to explore STEM with confidence and joy. We provide a range of tools and educational concepts that support the implementation of child-led discovery and research. To make scientific exploration as accessible as possible, all our workshops are built around using existing, low-cost, everyday materials.
Each workshop covers a specific STEM topic and educational concept. Through every additional workshop, the individual’s confidence with respect to inquiry-based STEM learning grows, as they – step-by-step – continue to expand their knowledge and take on additional teaching strategies. Each year we introduce new STEM workshops to provide a holistic professional development program.
At each workshop, the participants receive supportive educational material providing background information on the topic, scientific facts and a variety of stimuli to encourage daily scientific research. Afterwards, the educators can immediately implement age-appropriate STEM exploration with the children in their care, enabling STEM literacy and enthusiasm for research and discovery.
Background: how it started | research | support
Little Scientists Australia is the Australian adaptation of the successful work of the German not-for-profit “Haus der kleinen Forscher” Foundation, established in 2006. “Haus der kleinen Forscher” contiues to be the largest initiative in early childhood education in Germany. Around 47% of all German early childhood education and care services are actively integrating scientific exploration based on the “Haus der kleinen Forscher” inquiry-based approach.
The development of workshops and materials by “Haus der kleinen Forscher” draws on current knowledge in developmental psychology, learning research, early education and didactics.
In addition, the Foundation has incorporated numerous empirical findings and content-based recommendations accumulated during trainer workshops, regular preschool visits and observations made in the “Haus der kleinen Forscher” Foundation’s local networks in Germany over the past ten years.
The OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) Governing Board has recommended Little Scientists as an exemplary initiative for innovative teaching in its report “Innovative Teaching for Effective Learning”, released in April 2012.
FROEBEL is a leading not-for-profit provider of bilingual education and care services in Australia, Germany, Turkey and Poland with a strong commitment to excellence and best practice in early childhood education. Following the success of integrating the “Haus der kleinen Forscher” inquiry-based learning approach in a large number of FROEBEL education and care services in Germany, FROEBEL Australia initiated a partnership with the “Haus der kleinen Forscher” Foundation in 2013 and is proud to bring the Little Scientists Australia program to children and educators across Australia.
Little Scientists House Certification Program
We also offer the opportunity to become a certified Little Scientists House. All early childhood services participating in our Little Scientists Program that are committed to early STEM and scientific exploration can apply.
Successful applications are rewarded with a Little Scientists Certification plaque, demonstrating to parents and the community, that your service is committed to inquiry-based learning and Early STEM.
Local Network Partnerships - supporting STEM in your community
Little Scientists is based on a train-the-trainer model to reach as many educators and young children in Australia as possible.
To date we have established 34 network partnerships that deliver our Little Scientists Program in their geographical areas across all Australian States and Territories.
If your organisation acknowledges the importance for our young children to have daily access to child-led STEM exploration and would be interested in helping to further grow our program across Australia, please get in touch to discuss a partnership with us.
Our network partners Ask about becoming a Local Network Partner
Become a strategic / corporate partner
Little Scientists Australia is a not-for-profit organisation with a strong belief in social progress. Our program paves the way for future generations to be better prepared for unknown challenges in STEM areas and beyond.
If your organisation or company is passionate about Corporate Social Responsibility and wish to work with us to improve our children’s future opportunities in both a global and local market, please get in touch.