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What you will learn in an Optics Workshop
In this interactive workshop, learn to appreciate the magic of colour, mirrors, and shadows through the eyes of a child and explore the pedagogy behind developing child-led inquiry projects in your service or classroom. Gain the confidence to develop and facilitate project work and create rich optics-based STEM learning experiences through which to teach the outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework. Interactive activities may include:
- Make your own spying device.
- Follow, catch, and trap your shadow.
- Build a shadow theatre and play with puppets.
- Mix colours into brown, and then try un-mixing them.
- Find out how to create and mix different colours of lights.
- Learn about binocular rivalry and test your own peripheral vision.
- See how far you can “transport” light throughout a dark room.
- Split sunlight in different ways and make rainbows with crystals, soap bubbles, and CDs.
- Investigate the connections between three dimensional objects, their shadows, and make a sundial.
- Explore reflections in everyday life and discover why some reflections are distorted, magnified, shrunk, or even upside down.
Pedagogical topic: Inquiry projects in early childhood
Ever wanted to run an inquiry-based project with the children in your service, but have felt unsure how to start? This is an essential workshop in which you will learn:
- Different ways of approaching an inquiry-based project.
- The structure and purpose of projects in the early childhood setting.
- Your role as the “learning coach” through the four phases of the project.
- How to foster the collaborative and innovative spirit of their group.
- The difference between a thematic approach versus project work in early childhood education.
- How to maximise children’s participation in the decision-making process throughout project work.
- To use colour, mirrors, and light to build a portfolio of inspiration for inquiry-based project work.
STEM learning outcomes
This STEM workshop will provide you with the following learning outcomes through the lens of optics:
- Uncover how early education can foster children’s metacognitive development.
- The confidence to tap into, guide, and focus children’s natural interests and abilities.
- Understand the important role of inquiry-based learning and co-construction in early education.
- The confidence to pass on your new knowledge and skills to your colleagues and to become a STEM champion in your service.
- Learn how communication, reflection, and questioning can enhance children’s ability to think about their own learning.
- Exchange ideas and experiences with other like-minded educators and reflect on your current practice.
- Receive comprehensive topic-specific materials with educational STEM ideas and information about inquiry-based practices.
Who should do this course?
This workshop is designed for all early childhood educators and teachers, as well as educators with managerial responsibilities. No prior STEM knowledge required.
Something to think about before the workshop:
- What was my role during previous projects?
- How did the project start and what did the children learn?
Explore more in-person STEM workshop topics:
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STEM in-service PD
Don’t see a workshop near you? Book an in-service workshop to immerse your team in hands-on inquiry-based STEM learning without leaving your service.