ELSA Newsletter May 2018

ELSA Update

The ELSA Pilot is off to a busy start this year! The first children’s app, Patterns and Relationships, has been launched, along with the Educator app. As part of this, pilot educators have been working in their preschools to implement off-app activities that support children to explore and engage further in their understanding of patterns and relationships. We look forward to seeing how ELSA Pilot educators use these apps and the related STEM Practices in different ways.

One of the ways to explore STEM Practices is through reading. Consequently, we have produced an ELSA Booklist (PDF) which contains many examples of great reading material that explores STEM concepts. We are pleased to share this list with you here.

STEM Practices – Creativity

Think about the most creative person you know. What kind of person are they? What kind of things do they love doing?

If you considered that being creative means in the artistic sense – you are not alone! Many of us associate creativity with an ability to paint, sing, dance, garden, cook or some other artistic pursuit. This type of creativity is important, so too is the creativity that allows us to think laterally and problem solve in our everyday lives.

Everyday creative activities that involve making also use problem solving, reimagining the world in new ways or using objects for alternate uses. In the future, workplaces may look for people who are solutions-focused and who have skills to problem solve. Creativity also helps us solve problems in our everyday life. For example, making up a new meal out of the ingredients in the fridge that need to be used up. Or you may need to take a different route to a friend’s house due to a roadblock, or perhaps you want to start up a small business and need to brainstorm ideas. Creativity and thinking differently about problems will help you. Creativity takes practice and working on your creativity with little things can make a difference in the future.

Creativity and problem solving are important aspects of STEM education, especially for young learners. These skills help us explore and solve problems, push the boundaries of what’s possible and allows children to process information and learn in play-based, child-centred ways. By modelling STEM ways of thinking and learning with young children, you are fostering the development of children’s creativity.

Read more

Here are links where you can find more about creativity:

Our mailing address is:
Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA)
STEM Education Research Centre
University of Canberra
Bruce, ACT, 2617, Australia

Photography by Carl Davies