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Hensman Street Elementary puts STEM in the spotlight through 2022 Little Scientists Awards

Hensman Street Elementary has been recognised as a winner in the prestigious Little Scientists Early STEM Awards, being named as the Western Australia State winner for 2022.

The Awards celebrate the commitment and dedication of early childhood educators to

inquiry-based learning in early STEM education, providing opportunities for children to learn

as they explore, discover, create, improvise, test theories and imagine.

Principal Tanya Steers and Educational Leader Christy-Lee Antonas gained the attention of the judges for their project “Ramps and Pathways”.

This STEM project used inquiry based and child-led learning pedagogies as its core, then added loose parts and materials to it to spark the children’s investigative nature. Wooden ramps of varying lengths, marbles of differing sizes and weight and ample time to play and experiment with the new materials allowed the team to springboard this STEM project.

Not every ramp and pathway construction held up to the scrutiny of the budding engineers but failure only spurred them on and allowed them to understand that unsuccessful ramps and pathways are a natural part of the learning process. Children built, tested, shared success and failures, then recorded and reflected on their play with the Little Scientist Inquiry Cycle as a visual cue to focus the progression of learning with a STEM lens.

“Each of our winners, and indeed all those who took the time to make a submission, reflects the dedication and passion found within the early childhood sector,” Sibylle Seidler, Project Director for Little Scientists Australia said.

“We are delighted to be able to recognise Hensman Street Elementary as one of the nine winners in this year's awards.”

“I’d like to thank Tanya Steers and Christy-Lee Antonas for their contribution to ensuring tomorrow’s leaders grow up to be resilient individuals, capable of the critical thinking and problem solving they will need to be successful leaders, today and in the future.”

The Awards received 72 submissions for the Best STEM project category, and 14 submissions for the Outstanding STEM leader, a new category in 2022.

Judging the entries in 2022 was a panel of cross sector researchers, representatives from FROEBEL Australia, and independent consultants, all of whom agreed the standard of projects submitted in 2022 was outstanding.

“Congratulations go to all those who were recognised as finalists, and indeed to all our nominees,” Ms Seidler said.

Special Thankyou to Senator Fatima Payman for attending the ceremony.

Photo credits: Anthea K Photography

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