From the Early Years

Science Week in the ELC

The school theme for National Science Week in 2022 was Glass: More than meets the eye.

In the ELC, this involved the incorporation of glass and glass-like resources in our play experiences and shared discussion. Young children are naturally curious, researchers by nature: they seek to find things out, to explore possibilities. They engage in research in ways that occur instinctively to them, in collaboration with each other, and through play.

In Habich ELC, the children considered and discussed some of the properties of glass and brainstormed all of the ways in which we use glass. Children were invited to observe natural objects using magnifying glasses and investigated reflection using mirrors. The Karrambi children explored the possibilities of light, shadow, colour and magnification using the overhead projector. They found and collected items from the ELC and from home that were made of glass and considered how they could use glass in a more sustainable way. Following on from their ‘Sharing the Planet’ discoveries, the Mantiri children planted Sunflower seeds and germinated them in their glass house.

Our younger researchers in Tarragon, Rosemary and Lavender discussed glass and its fragility, and of course, how to handle glass with care. They explored light through crystals and used glass marbles and beads for scooping and tonging. Our light tables were decorated with coloured Perspex shapes, crystals and beads and all classes visited the collaboratory for a range of STEM experiences including an introduction to the use of microscopes and the more familiar magnifying glasses. The children particularly enjoyed looking through the enormous glass windows in Tarrakarri.

Complementing Science Week and exploration in every ELC day, research, and play as research, is embedded in our ELC philosophy:

We encourage children to perceive themselves as researchers. We challenge thinking, scaffold children to see things from different perspectives and build on their previous understandings. We believe that playful learning is a fundamental right of children and that they grow and learn in collaboration through the many experiences they share and enjoy each day.

Alicia Flowers
Assistant Director of Early Learning