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

READ | #ThinkSTEM Activity Pack: Autism, ADHD and the Senses

TAKE A LOOK | Case Studies and Research from Education Scotland

Want to #ThinkSTEM and Learn with SCMA? 

#ThinkSTEM with Learn with SCMA! 

SCMA has worked alongside the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC) to develop a range of STEM-based Continuing Professional Learning (CPL) courses: 

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
Think STEM: Autism, ADHD and the Senses

New #ThinkSTEM course available for SCMA members now! 

All SCMA members have funded and exclusive access to our brand-new e-Learning course, ‘Think STEM: Autism, ADHD and the Senses’. 

The usual cost of our e-Learning courses is £25 per person, so we’re delighted that thanks to funding from Education Scotland, we are able to provide this brand-new course and CPL opportunity fully funded for our members.

The purpose of the training is to help you develop an understanding of STEM and the senses in relation to Autism and ADHD and of the vital role you play in supporting children’s learning through play opportunities.  

Great course that is informative and easy to follow” – SCMA member. 

After completing the course, we hope that you will feel encouraged to recognise and reflect on all that you currently do to support all children’s learning and how it links to STEM and Curriculum for Excellence, as well as how to further develop your practice for Autism and ADHD. 

Simply login to the Membership Dashboard, go to the ‘Learning Zone’ tab on the right-hand side, and you will be able to access the course in your ‘Eligible Courses’ section.

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.

Click Here

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.)

Enrol Today

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.

Click here

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.

View Dashboard

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.

Click Here