It's time to #ThinkSTEM!

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - and forms a core part of the Curriculum for Excellence.

Although these subjects may sound better suited to a classroom than your living room, but you’ll be amazed at how many of your day-to-day childminding activities involve STEM.

Have you ever looked at objects floating in a water tray, baked cakes with your minded children, built junk models or counted out play money? Yes? Well then, you’ve already touched upon the key elements of STEM without even noticing.

Working alongside the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC), SCMA has become a market-leader in developing a range of STEM learning resources designed specifically for childminders in Scotland, offering three courses to add to your Continuing Professional Learning (CPL) and a series of STEM-themed Network Meetings.

READ | #ThinkSTEM Activity Pack for Childminders and Families

TAKE A LOOK | Case Studies and Research from Education Scotland

Want to #ThinkSTEM and Learn with SCMA? 

#ThinkSTEM courses available now! 

SCMA has worked alongside the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC) to develop a range of STEM-based Continuing Professional Learning (CPL) courses, which are now available online via our easy-to-use e-Learning platform or as Interactive/Virtual Learning. 

Think STEM: An Introduction for Childminders and Exploring Your Senses 
Think STEM: Science Inquiry and STEM Outdoors
Think STEM: Exploring Maths and Numeracy through Science

New #ThinkSTEM course available now! 

Once again - and with thanks to further funding from Education Scotland - SCMA has worked with SSERC to develop a new course for our #ThinkSTEM series: #ThinkSTEM - Exploring Maths and Numeracy through Science. This new #ThinkSTEM course is now available to SCMA members as e-Learning and is a natural progression from the first two #ThinkSTEM courses.

The purpose of this new learning opportunity is to help you to continue developing an understanding of the vital role you, as a childminder, play in supporting children’s learning through play opportunities.  This course promotes the use of maths, numeracy, sequencing and problem-solving skills in your childminding setting and enables you to consider ways to further develop your practice.

Read more about Think STEM: Exploring Maths and Numeracy through Science and look out for further updates from the Learn with SCMA team. 

Network Meetings to help you #ThinkSTEM

Our STEM Network Meetings are designed to raise awareness of our series of #ThinkSTEM courses from Learn with SCMA and how they can enhance your childminding practice. They also provide an opportunity to share ideas with other childminders and find out more about the support available from SCMA. 

We have already delivered a series of free STEM Network Meetings across Scotland, and we are hoping to offer more soon - in a "virtual" format for the time being. SCMA members will be invited to #ThinkSTEM Network Meetings by email when they are scheduled to take place - so, don't forget to check your inbox regularly.  

In the meantime, if you have any queries or require further information, please call our Lean with SCMA team on 01786 445377.

STEM Resources and Useful Links

Loose Parts Play Toolkit

Providing practical guidance about loose parts play to those who work with children and young people of all ages – including childminders – and advocating the use of loose parts as an approach to developing play opportunities at home, outdoors and in the community.

This useful resource can be found on Membership Dashboard via the Learning Library.

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NASA Science for Kids

NASA Space Place's mission is to inspire and enrich children’s learning about space and Earth science online through fun games, hands-on activities, informative articles and engaging short videos.

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Scottish Government Online STEM Module

A STEM-based learning package has been developed by the Scottish Government in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland, which provides multi-media resources and activities for those working with children to help develop curiosity in the world around them.

(This link will take you straight to the sign-in page, where you should enter ‘STEM’ in the module search box to enrol for the STEM module.)

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Curriculum for Excellence Science Principles and Practice

Learning through play using the principles of the sciences, children and young people develop their interest in, and understanding of, the living, material and physical world around them. Engaging in a wide range of collaborative investigative tasks, enables them to develop important skills to become more creative, inventive and enterprising in the future.

Read more

Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC)

Providing support for science and technology education across Scotland. SSERC have developed some activities that allow you to easily engage with your children at home through easily accessible STEM videos. These videos allow you to do the activity along with us or watch them together and then recreate the activity. 

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Curriculum for Excellence

Scotland’s curriculum – Curriculum for Excellence – helps our children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century.

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Realising the Ambition: Being Me

Realising the Ambition: Being Me builds upon the original principles of Pre-Birth to Three and Building the Ambition, as this refreshed early years national practice guidance for Scotland presents key information about the characteristics of child development based on research and evidence.

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SSSC Open Badges

SCMA has partnered with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) to award Accredited Open Badges. These are digital certificates that recognise learning, achievement and success, which encourage reflective learning and improve to practice.

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SCMA Membership Dashboard and Learning Dashboard

For more information about reflective practice and writing reflective statements, there are useful resources and tools on the Membership Dashboard via the Learning Library. Browse our range of downloads, resources and tools – designed and tailored to childminders in Scotland.

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Make Sense

STEM resource from Guide Dogs which examines ‘finding the way through sensory play’ and includes engaging sessions on how the eye works and the benefits that daily exercise, good nutrition and sufficient sleep have on the body and on peoples’ eyesight.

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