Australian ECEC services get hands on for National Science Week
National Science Week is held from 12-20 August, and in 2023 the theme is ‘Innovation: powering future industries’. Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services around Australia are getting hands-on with experiments, activities and events to celebrate.
First established in 1997, National Science Week is an annual celebration of science and technology. It provides a chance for people of all ages to appreciate the contributions of Australian scientists and the world of knowledge.
The aim of National Science Week is to spark an interest in science in young people, and to encourage them to find fascination in the world that we live in.
The 2023 theme aims to highlight that each day there are new inventions and technologies that create new industries, as well as updates and better support for current industries. With children being the key to the future, it is vital that they have all the knowledge and skill necessary to be innovative.
How to participate in National Science Week
There are a number of ways to participate in National Science Week in ECEC services. From making in-centre displays to hands-on experiments and activities, the possibilities are endless.
The main aim of any activities, events or displays should be to make science exciting, engaging, and fun. Here are some ideas to get the celebrations started:
- Invite parents who are scientists or who work in science-related fields to share their knowledge with children. Encourage the parents to bring along safe objects for the children to look at and hold, or pictures of their work.
- Have a science dress up day, providing families with ideas related to the children’s current interests. For example, dressing as an animal that comes from an egg (butterfly, spider, bird, dinosaur, fish); or wearing shapes or colours related to the weather (rainbows, clouds, rain, sunlight).
- Invite children to do a simple science activity at home with their families. For example, mix vinegar and sodium bicarbonate from the kitchen cupboard, or look at the phases of the Moon.
- Decorate the service with science related images and invite children to add colour to printouts of the National Science Week colouring sheets.
- Explore objects and hands-on activities related to Indigenous science and technology, such as animal tracks, the seasons, and fish traps. The IndigiSTEM Activities Workbook and IndigiSTEM Educator Notes include 20 STEM activities that incorporate Indigenous perspectives.
- Invite families to assist their children to do a nature scavenger hunt.
- Include science-related books in daily reading and book displays. Seek advice from the Children’s Librarian at a local library or look at the Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) booklist.
For more information, and stories from other services explaining how they have participated in National Science Week please see here.
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