Mark Coulton MP, Federal Member for Parkes

Four preschools in Electorate of Parkes in line for early learning STEM

Monday, 4 September 2017

Two preschools in Dubbo and one each in Gunnedah and Wilcannia will be among the first in Australia to be introduced to science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) through play-based digital learning program.
The Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton said the preschools were among 100 selected to be part of the Nationals-Liberal Government’s innovative Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) pilot.
“Congratulations to Barlu Kurli Preschool in Wilcannia, Peppercorn Childcare Centre & Preschool and Regand Park Early Childhood Education Centre in Dubbo and Winanga-Li Early Learning Service in Gunnedah for being selected in the trial and commitment to introducing their pre-schoolers to new and exciting learning opportunities,” Mr Coulton said. 
“These preschools will receive free workshops and will be the first to use the ELSA apps and resources to incorporate STEM practices into their preschool program,” he said. 
“We want to help children explore new ideas and skills in science, technology, engineering and maths that will in turn boost their literacy and numeracy.”     
Mr Coulton said the first app will introduce the concepts of sorting, ordering, patterns and representations through activities including creating decorations and organising food onto different plates, all within the theme of ‘celebration’. 
 “This new $6 million program will give our littlest learners the opportunity to develop numeracy skills and scientific curiosity that will set them up for the rest of their schooling,” he said.
 “With employment trends showing 75 per cent of Australia’s fastest growing careers demand skills in digital literacy and STEM it is wonderful to see the inquisitiveness of children in the Electorate of Parkes is being encouraged early in their development.”
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said independent analysis released recently showed the apps were effective in introducing new languages to preschool children, raising their awareness of other cultures, and engaging their interest in learning different languages.
The ELSA pilot begins in Term 1 next year. For more information visit: www.elsa.edu.au     

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Mark coulton MP, Federal Member for the ELECTORATE Of Parkes

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