Thousands of prechoolers across Australia are set for a science and maths skills boost as part of a new Turnbull Government program.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said a pilot of the $6 million Early Learning STEM Australia program launching this week would see 4,000 children across 100 preschools learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills through a series of interactive apps.
“This program will be a launch pad for a life-long interest in STEM for thousands of preschoolers,” Minister Birmingham said.
“It’s a game changer in STEM skills for our littlest learners.
“We know engagement with STEM at an early age will be essential for children to develop the skills needed to navigate our rapidly-changing world and the jobs of the future.
“This will help plant the seeds of curiosity and inspiration in STEM from an early age and help with the development of spatial awareness as well as numeracy and problem solving skills.”
Minister Birmingham said throughout the ELSA pilot children would have the opportunity to engage in STEM practices both with the interactive apps on digital tablets and in the real world.
“The ELSA program is an easy-to-use teaching resource that introduces our youngest learners to STEM in fun and engaging ways,” Minister Birmingham said.
“It will complement the skills and experiences of teachers at preschool and of families at home.
“For example, the first ELSA app – ‘Patterns and Relationships’ – introduces preschoolers to the foundational STEM
concepts of sorting, ordering, patterning and representations.
“It’s accessible and fun activities like that which have seen our early learning languages program ELLA expand to nearly 2,500 preschools in just three years.”
ELSA is one of three early learning initiatives funded under the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) and follows the Little Scientists program delivered by Frobel Australia Limited and The Smith Family’s Let’s Count program.
For further information about the ELSA pilot, including the list of 100 participating preschool services, visit: www.elsa.edu.au.