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STEM Leader – April 2021

Posted on March 31st, 2021 in STEM leaders
Rhiannon Winstone

Rhiannon Winstone is a fan of inquiry-based STEM learning because it gives children opportunities to collaborate through hands-on activities and experiments and work together to solve problems while using their own ideas and knowledge. The lead educator/educational leader from Queensland has been working in early childhood education for four years.

In Rhiannon’s experience, STEM learning is interactive and engaging for children as well as educators and supports the development of children’s individual and teamwork skills while having a whole lot of fun!

Optics is Rhiannon’s favourite Little Scientists workshop. She absolutely loved what this workshop had to offer and took from it a lot of valuable information, ideas and knowledge that she shared with her fellow educators. She feels that the children in her service benefitted massively from the exciting new ideas and activities that came out of her experience of the Little Scientists workshop.

Early childhood education without STEM is difficult to imagine for Rhiannon, who believes that she and the children would be lost without all of the exploration STEM learning offers. Rhiannon encourages hands-on explorations and enjoys seeing how engaged the children are in experiments where they measure, pour and mix ingredients themselves, which they then use and explore further. Before, during and after these experiments, Rhiannon engages in discussions with the children and encourages them to share their points of views and converse with one another to exchange their own words of wisdom.

Rhiannon supports the children in being confident and involved learners as they explore new activities and experiments by themselves or collaboratively with their peers. She encourages the children to accept challenges and take risks while having a whole lot of fun.

Rhiannon believes that her own role in STEM exploration is to be engaged, supportive and a helping hand to foster the children’s learning experiences. She sees her role as working alongside the children through their discovery and research and assist them when required as well as encouraging the children to take their time in developing their own learning and other personal skills, allowing them to broaden their own discoveries. Rhiannon feels that it is part of her role to conduct the initial research to introduce the children to a new area of learning and then collaborate with them from there, following their interests and ideas.

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