Early STEM Award 2020 - NT winner
Starting from a suggestion by a senior Yolngu elder at Yirrkala Preschool, children and educators worked collaboratively to gather an understanding about homes for people and animals, including traditional Yolngu homes. This project combined a maths focus by looking at shapes in the environment, a science focus on discovering different habitats and an environmental focus on learning about the relationship between the plants, animals and humans.
In their indoor and outdoor learning environments, the children explored collaboratively which materials they could use and which shapes worked best for their constructions and thought about who was going to live in them. Block construction, the sand-pit and an excursion to the primary school students’ shelters helped the children develop their ideas. Cultural aspects included children’s Homelands and dividing the local flora and fauna into their two moiety groups, Dhuwa and Yirritja and what homes they lived in. The children discussed their ideas in yarning circles and drew pictures of their houses to explain their understanding.
Their inquiry finished with the children collaborating with each other, the teachers and parents to complete a small home for toys and a large home for themselves.
Building a future on tradition
The award panel felt that the project came from the heart and loved its different approach and world view. This authentic, community-involved project was an inspiring, joyful read that left the panel feeling some of the elements of a deep personal connection and sense of home.
Thank you for taking us on a discovery journey that fully embraced community and the environment.