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St Mary's Preschool Scientists win top award

Being a top scientist, mathematician or engineer in tomorrow’s brave new world starts in preschool. St Mary’s Catholic School in central Darwin was recognised today as leading the STEM education revolution at an award ceremony attended by top educators and government representatives.

The award celebrates 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.

Presenting the Northern Territory’s 2018 Little Scientists Early STEM Award, Rebecca McKeen said “This award recognises that St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Darwin and in particular Principal Megan Evans and preschool teacher Fiona Matchett are leaders in developing this STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) curriculum”.

Today in this ever more technological and connected world an excellent education starts with your child discovering the joy of learning. The 'Water Wall' created by preschool students from St Mary’s shows the success of play-based learning.

Fiona Matchett in receiving the award said “Here at St Mary’s we have a passion for play and inquiry-based learning, which provides endless opportunities for the children to explore all areas of development. The 'Water Wall' project was one example of the many inquiry-based investigations that we have pursued. During these investigations, children have the opportunity to be scientists, as they predict and test; engineers, as they design, build and make; mathematicians, as they measure and identify patterns. Our aim is to immerse children in the language, technical talk and habits of mind of STEM, to ensure that they develop a confidence from an early age to work in these fields, now and into the future.”

Belinda Hoult, Manager Early Childhood Curriculum for DoE NT said “These students will enter a workforce with very different requirements to that of the past, with a huge proportion of jobs of the future being in the STEM areas”.

Member for Port Darwin Paul Kirby MP said “To be leaders in tomorrow’s world, Australia has to be the smart country. Here in the vastness of the Northern Territory inventers and innovators are needed more than ever to overcome the many challenges we face. The work here at St Mary’s shows that instilling enthusiasm in STEM at an early age is starting these students on a learning journey that will make them leaders in tomorrow’s workforce.

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