STEM for pre-primary students
Many parents and teachers wonder, at what age is it appropriate to start teaching STEM? Many pre-primary teachers are looking for activities for STEM lessons , but sometimes they think that it is not possible the implementation of STEM lessons to students aged 3-6.
How can we implement these concepts into early childhood education? The most important thing to remember about teaching STEM to early learners is that they are perfectly adapted to learn STEM concepts, and it is not difficult to teach STEM to young children. The secret is to tap into their natural and innate curiosity about the living world. By simply allowing them to investigate, by encouraging them to ask questions about the real world, you are engaging children in STEM (Finnish National Board of Education National Core Curriculum for Pre-primary Education 2010).
Tips and suggestions:
Encourage experimenting, tinkering, building, observing, exploring, problem solving, and creating! Create curiosity. Create passion, Create an opportunity for kids to push the limits of what they can do. Our science activities plus STEM challenges will help kids fall in love with the world of STEM (Joshua M. Sneideman , Feature Story, December 2013). Scientix repository includes many recourses for STEM activities for pre-primary education 
Hands on experiments
Teaching science in primary school can be challenging. Astrid Kaiser and Marlene Rau describe a rich source of online materials and highlight some activities about oil and water.
Hands-on lessons for various science subjects that are easily implemented thanks to well-explained instructions, worksheets and handouts. The content is focused on environment-related topics: a) A Creek or a Sewer, b) Blushing Plants, c) How They Live, d) It’s Raining Cats and Dogs, e) Pond Skaters without Skates, f) Climate Refugees, g) Ecological Pyramids, h) How to Insulate Your classroom, i) Natural Gas.
Using ICT tools
Based on existing theoretical frameworks, we suggest that instructional technologies should be used in early childhood inquiry education to (a) enrich and provide structure for problem contexts, (b) facilitate resource utilization, and (c) support cognitive and metacognitive processes. Examples of existing and hypothetical early childhood applications are provided as we elaborate on each role. Challenges and future research directions are also identified and discussed.
Applying Technology to Inquiry-Based Learning in Early Childhood Education (PDF Download Available). Available from:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225787813_Applying_Technology_to_Inquiry-Based_Learning_in_Early_Childhood_Education [accessed Aug 12, 2017].
Asebascratch is a software link between Scratch 2 and the Thymio-II robot. Scratch is one of the few visual programming system designed for children. The resource is a collection of projects that can be realised with Scratch.
- Start with a stem cell contains three interactive activities that can be adapted to different ages and abilities to introduce or consolidate stem cell concepts
The junior student website can be visited in class or at home to consolidate learning. There are a number of fun activities, including educational games, disease fact files, revision guides and a quiz.And it is offered in many different languages.
A lesson plan for a game to review several mathematical concepts using an interactive “draw and guess” game. This game helps students to retain abstract concepts from the topic and can be adapted to different age groups or subjects. It includes a summary of reviews of the lesson by teachers who tested it in their classroom.
The classic snakes and ladders game is replaced by rockets and comets in this astronomy themed version. The game is a challenging and interactive way to learn about various astronomical objects while moving your way to the winning square as space travellers.
Health education and biology
This food hygiene lesson demonstrates to students how easily potentially harmful microbes on raw and undercooked food can transfer to humans. Students also learn to wash hands after touching raw meat and to use different chopping boards for raw meat and vegetables.
In the super sneezes lesson students learn that microbes can be spread through sneezes and travel through the air. They later learn that the best way to stop the spread of cold and flu germs is to sneeze into a tissue – catch it, bin it, kill it.
This hand hygiene lesson allows students to learn how microbes can spread through touch and that the best way to remove microbes and prevent them from spreading is by washing your hands with soap and water.
This antibiotics lesson demonstrates to students that antibiotics are special medicines that only work on bacteria. Later, the test tube experiment will help students learn that antibiotics should only be taken if they have been prescribed by your doctor and you should take the whole course of antibiotics.
More resources you could find in the Scientix project:
The objective of pre-primary education in environmental and natural studies is for children to learn to understand and appreciate natural and built-up environments, different people and cultures and to recognise the effects of their own actions on their immediate environment. Children will learn to take biodiversity and the pleasantness and beauty of the environment into account in their actions and to act so as to preserve and care for the environment.
Lesson introducing different kinds and varieties of fruits.
An activity involving cutting, drawing, gluing and sorting of different kinds of food products.
This resource is a simple and comprehensive guide to food hygiene.
This teachers’ guide provides teaching notes and suggests resources to help children learn about: Agriculture and fisheries (production, processing, safety, sustainability, animal welfare); Biotechnology (traditional, modern and future).
This resource is a simple and comprehensive guide to cheese preparation/making, for pre-school children (Phase 1 of CommNet project).
More recourses you could find to Scientix project
Universe in a Box is a resource designed to explain the difficult and sometimes abstract concepts of astronomy to young children through inquiry-based and fun learning methods. It was developed to meet a demand for practical, interactive, and fun resources to bring astronomy to the classroom. It provides teachers and educators with over 40 practical activities as well as the materials and models required to do them.
Except of guide in Scientix project EUNAWE: European Universe Awareness there are more recourses for activities in astronomy education for pre-primary education. Example :
This guide explains how to construct a toy rocket, propelled by gases created by a chemical reaction.
This activity helps children understand that the Earth is round and the origin of day and night.
A tale from Inca Mythology about the planets. Extract from the “Tales of the stars” book.
This short rhyming song tells of our place in the Universe. It can be done sitting down or standing up, accompanied by images or not.
This is a short tale about Bague and the stars from the Andes. It talks about the creation of the Universe.
But also Scientix project astroEDU: Peer reviewed astronomy activities provides many astronomy lessons for pre-primary like the example above:
Two children act as the Moon and the Earth. By holding hands and spinning around they mimic the tidal locking of the Moon. They note that the Moon always keeps the same face towards Earth.
Watch shadows during the course of the day to explore the influence of the Sun’s position in the sky on them, as well as how they change over the seasons. During the next season, repeat the experiment and note the changes from the previous season. Repeat over a period of one year for each season.
Students explore the layers of Earth’s atmosphere
This is a group activity that inspires students to imagine life in space. What if you landed on the Moon? What should you take with you?
 NOTIFICATION: The recourses that are presented is just few examples for starting planning STEM activities and it is sure that Scientix repository could support pre-primary teachers with thousand recourses.
Tags: early childhood education, games, IBSE, ICT, preprimary