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Little Scientists 2022 Early STEM Award

Would you like recognition for your service’s work with inquiry-based STEM?
Submit your early STEM project for a chance to be recognised as a leader in early STEM education.

The 2022 Early STEM Award is now closed and our panel of experts is assessing the submissions.
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The biennial Little Scientists Early STEM Award recognises and celebrates early childhood services that have successfully implemented inquiry-based learning and child-led STEM exploration. The award is open to all Australian early childhood services wishing to showcase their inquiry-based STEM projects.

Our award theme, Quirky Curious Futures, encourages participants to let their imaginations fly by playing with quirky ideas, letting children’s curiosity run wild and empowering them to create their own visions of the future. Imagine what our transport and cities could look like, imagine life on a different planet or invent useful gadgets.

We are excited to welcome applications from individual educators and teachers for the Outstanding STEM Leader Award for the first time this year. We value the difference these advocates make to the children’s learning and their colleagues’ enthusiasm for STEM and have been celebrating STEM excellence for two years now with our monthly STEM Leader profiles. You can join this community of dedicated professionals!

How to enter

STEP 1

Complete your submission form and choose the category you want to enter. Submissions can be made until 31 May 2022.

STEP 2

Complete the entry form, selecting one of the two categories:

Early STEM Award: submit one project to showcase your implementation of inquiry-based STEM. Include the children’s ideas, investigations, discoveries and approach in your entry form.

Outstanding STEM Leader: you can (self-)nominate an individual educator who has demonstrated a passion for STEM and is integrating inquiry-based, child-led STEM learning in their daily practice.

STEP 3

Submit your completed entry and don’t forget to include your supporting photos and documentation. The more descriptive you are, the easier it is for the expert panel to judge the quality and depth of your project.

Be quick and receive your educator appreciation gift!

The first 50 finalised submissions will receive a $30 voucher for the Faber-Castell creativity range!

Faber Castell - Designed for little hands

Key dates

  • Entries open: Tuesday, 1 March 2022
  • Entries close: Tuesday, 31 May 2022
  • Winners informed: late July 2022
  • Award ceremonies: August 2022 in celebration of National Science Week

Key dates

  • Entries open: Tuesday, 1 March 2022
  • Entries close: Tuesday, 31 May 2022
  • Winners informed: late July 2022
  • Award ceremonies: August 2022 in celebration of National Science Week

Why enter?

Recognition

You are a STEM rockstar! Let us recognise you for the amazing work you do in your service.

Great prizes

Win amazing prize packages and STEM resources for your service.

Publicity

Winning projects and STEM leader profiles featured on our website and/or in a future edition of our Early STEM Project book.

Certification step

Use your project when applying to become certified as a Little Scientists House.

FAQs

Since 2020, Quirky Curious Futures has been the overarching theme for our award. We encourage participants to let their imagination fly by playing with quirky ideas, letting children’s curiosity run wild and empowering them to create their own futures. The sky (or the depths of the ocean) is the limit.

If you need help to spark an idea for a Quirky Curious Futures project, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals would be a great place to start. We believe that these goals provide a global blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for our children and our planet. You can also let yourself be inspired by the winning projects of our second Early STEM Award in 2020.

Entries will be assessed and judged by a jury panel of early childhood and STEM professionals.

Each project in the Early STEM Award category will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. Originality
  2. STEM content
  3. Project scope 
  4. Child-led focus
  5. Inquiry-based focus

Each nominee in the Outstanding STEM Leader category will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. Originality
  2. Enthusiasm
  3. STEM Advocacy 
  4. Child-led focus
  5. Inquiry-based focus
Winners will be announced in August 2020 – just in time for National Science Week.

You can learn all about the award-winning projects of 2020 on our website. The 2018 award winners’ projects are documented in our STEM project book.

No. To ensure fairness, the entry period is strictly from 1 March until 31 May 2022. No entries will be accepted after this date.

  1. Entries must be submitted by Sunday, 31 May 2022 AEST.
  2. We only accept one entry per category from each service.
  3. Entries will only be reviewed if the application is complete.
  4. The Little Scientists Award is open to all Australian early childhood services and only employees of an early childhood service can apply. Entries from members of the community are not accepted.
  5. Little Scientists reserves the right not to award a prize if the quality of entries in a category does not meet the judges’ quality standard.
  6. Entries will be reviewed only if they are submitted via the Award platform and in the format instructed in the application form.
  7. Prize winners of the Little Scientists Award will be notified via email or phone and may be announced on the Little Scientists website and/or social media platforms.
  8. Information provided by the entrant in relation to the Little Scientists Award may be used by Little Scientists for promotional/publicity purposes. This may include and is not restricted to, the information being used on websites, social media, printed material, advertisements and press releases.
  9. Prizes are not redeemable for cash, credit or product.
  10. All entries become the property of Little Scientists Australia. As such, Little Scientists is the owner of all copyright and other intellectual property in the winning entries.
  11. To withdraw an application, written notification is required via email to awards@littlescientists.org.au at any time with immediate effect.
  12. If for any reason Little Scientists is unable to run the Little Scientists Award as planned through a cause beyond the organisation’s control, Little Scientists will use its discretion to cancel or postpone the event.

Failure to meet all terms and conditions will automatically disqualify an entry.

Judging criteria

Early STEM Award

Originality

STEM content

Project scope

Child-led focus

Inquiry-based focus

Outstanding STEM Leader

Originality

Enthusiasm

STEM advocacy

Child-led focus

Inquiry-based focus

 

Let us support you

If you’d like to learn how to implement inquiry-based STEM in your service, consider taking part in a Little Scientists workshop or webinar or book some in-service professional development and train your entire team at once.

Past winners

Looking for inspiration?
Winning projects are showcased in the Everyday STEM inquiry in practice book and in the Little Scientists House projects section of this website.

Key dates

  • Entries open: Tuesday, 1 March 2022
  • Entries close: Tuesday, 31 May 2022
  • Winners informed: late July 2022
  • Award ceremonies: August 2022 in celebration of National Science Week

What's in it for you?

We will celebrate the Outstanding STEM Leader and each winning service’s achievements with an award ceremony (depending on COVID restrictions this might be in person or virtual).

In addition to the public recognition of your tireless efforts to promote early STEM learning, there are also prizes!

  • Mud Kitchen Rigamajig Jr (worth $695.50)
  • Faber-Castell creativity pack (worth $1,000)
  • Good360 educational resources (worth $250)
  • Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool™ (worth $899)
  • Pedagogy+ annual magazine subscription (worth $85)
  • 2 tickets to Little Scientists face-to-face workshops (worth $430)
  • Little Scientists STEM project book and cards (worth $44)
  • Mud Kitchen rubber ramp kit with stackers (worth $495.50)
  • Faber-Castell creativity pack (worth $300)
  • Good360 educational resources (worth $250)
  • Pedagogy+ annual magazine subscription (worth $85)
  • 1 ticket to a Little Scientists face-to-face workshop (worth $215)
  • 1 ticket to a Little Scientists Inspire STEM online workshop (worth $90)
  • Little Scientists STEM project book and cards (worth $44)
  • Mud Kitchen $100 gift certificate & zen canvas board (worth $160)
  • Faber-Castell creativity pack (worth $315)
  • Good360 educational resources (worth $150)
  • Pedagogy+ annual magazine subscription (worth $85)
  • 1 ticket to a Little Scientists face-to-face workshop (worth $215)
  • 1 ticket to a Little Scientists Inspire STEM online workshop (worth $90)
  • Little Scientists STEM project and cards (worth $44)

We thank the sponsors of the 2022 Early STEM Award.

Technology sponsor

We thank Air Exchange for enabling us to use the online award submission platform Award Force.

Prize sponsors

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