Early STEM Award 2020 - TAS winner
Bagdad Education and Care
Bagdad Education and Care’s project grew organically into many different inquiries over a long time, following the children’s curiosity and joy. Starting with a bamboo steamer the children were interested in during their Chinese New Year celebrations, discussions turned from cooking with steam and heat to exploring different temperatures, weather and seasons, planets and Moon phases, and other cultural celebrations.
Observing seasons and temperature in their environment got them thinking about what it would be like to live on the Moon. As days grew shorter, the children noticed the Moon appearing earlier and a child said, “The moon is moving, it’s tricking me!” When educators shared the children’s interests with their families, they confirmed that the children loved the Moon and, unsurprisingly, it continued to be a topic of conversation. The children asked if people lived there and how cold or hot it would be, leading to the discovery that Earth is “not too hot or too cold, but just right”, which one child summarised as, “Like Goldilocks!” It was a wonderful moment for children and educators when further research revealed that ‘Goldilocks zone’ is indeed a real scientific term!
Where there’s no plan, there are no regrets
The thorough documentation brought the project to life, describing the extensive STEM content, which touched on so many different topics, and the communication and involvement of the parents and wider community. The award panel also loved the educators’ approach to the project, who, when asked what they would do differently next time, said, “As there was no plan, there are no regrets!” The panel thought this was a wonderful attitude to adopt to hands-on, inquiry-based learning, and the project embodied this spirit of adventure beautifully.
Thank you for taking us on a joyful journey of discovery of our home planet and beyond.