At Little Scientists, we are all about spotting STEM opportunities in the everyday. Exploring with sparkling water, or to children more commonly known as fizzy water, might not be an everyday occurrence but is a fascinating way to introduce gases (in this case carbon dioxide) and if you have access to a soda stream, it could be even more fun!
Carreen Long is Preschool Co-ordinator at St Thomas School and Preschool, the 2018 Early STEM award winner for SA. She has 30 years experience in early childhood education. Carren says when she thinks of STEM, she thinks… of wonder; fostering children’s and adults’ curiosity; children working creatively; children using their imagination; children exploring and discovering the things they are interested in; teaching resourcefulness; enhancing engagement, joy and excitement; engaging children in research; supporting children with the construction of theories; collaboration…
One of our wonderful Local Network Partners up in North Queensland, Jim Callan, contacted me the other day to talk about a new STEM exploration called floating oranges. He told me that oranges with peel on float and if you take the peel o, they sink. He challenged me to nd out whether it worked for other fruit.
Observing deciduous trees over a long period of time gave the children great opportunities for sensory exploration, reflection on life and death, appreciating the effect of the weather on the environment and realising the importance of record keeping.
It is not necessary for you to have any understanding of chemical reactions for this activity. The beauty of this activity is that you can discover what substances are acidic or alkali within your house alongside the children. The colour changes, reactions and fizzes are a very exciting part of this exploration.
Use this book as a starting point for your next compost project in your service. If you don’t have the possibility to make a compost in your service let the children draw their own compost stew. What ingredients can and can’t they put into a compost? Why? What do they think happens…
At Little Scientists we take STEM in the everyday very seriously. Seriously fun. These activities are straight from our Professional development workshops Mathematics: shape and space. Which is all about spotting the Mathematics in everyday life. This is a wonderful activity for both very young and older preschoolers. It is designed to add everyday mathematical language into playtime.