Experimenting and Exploring Our World!
Over the past few months, all of the rooms at Leap Start Early Learning have engaged in meaningful experiences, involving trial and error, hypothesising, researching and investigating. STEAM its self is based on 5 areas including Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. Together we have touched based and inquired each element of STEAM through different experiences arranging from LEGO’s and shaving cream to coloured melting ice cubes! It is important for each experience to take its own path with the children even if it doesn’t always pan out. This allows the children to learn life skills and predict and experiment with cause and effect.
Researching and Imagination!
One of our favourite experiences we have engaged in so far, has been our light show. Children explored and investigated different ways to use light no matter what age. With the babies, we used tissue paper over torches and a use of different materials like paper cups! With our toddlers, we extended with using mirrors to show reflections and used them to change the colour of an entire room! Then of course with our kindy’s we extended even further into shadow art! Children explored how light can be turned in to shadows, and investigated sizes of objects depending on whether they were close or far from the light source. Again sometimes our plans didn’t go quite as we imagined, although we always reflected this with the children, for example one of our torches with red tissue paper was ripped apart, we reflected with the children that now the light was white and could no longer be used as red. Children also reflected that they had to be gentle with them from there on!
Another great experience we planned with the Kindy and Pre Kindy room was when we asked the children to build a bridge for our koala, Kurtis! It was an activity which involved children to use their thinking skills, use the trial and error effect all while being in groups to form team building skills.It was amazing to watch the thought process of each group be entirely different from one another, while some groups formed low straight bridges, others designed tall and round ones, I even saw a group use the rocks to balance their bridge upwards!
Encouraging engineering promotes problem solving and creativity in children and there are so many ways to incorporate this into experiences !