The importance of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects in the early years of Scottish education is to be explored by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee.
The work will be part of a new inquiry which will explore the extent to which STEM subjects are included in the learning experiences of those aged 3-7 and the impact that this has on young people including broadening their horizons in terms of future careers. It will explore whether teachers have the skills, confidence and resources to teach these subjects alongside many other areas in the curriculum. It will also look at the success of different STEM initiatives, the barriers to success and also how best practice can be shared.
Now the Committee is looking for views of those who teach and support 3 to 7 years olds, to get their views on the important role they play in early years learning.
The work follows a round table discussion the Committee had on the subject where it heard from teachers about the positive experiences which come with early focus on STEM subjects. The Committee also heard that by 7 years old children already had clear perceptions of whether STEM related careers were appealing or accessible.
Committee Convener, Clare Adamson MSP said:
“Scottish Science week is a great time to start this inquiry as the importance of STEM from an early age is at the forefront of Science week events. There is little doubt about the important of science, technology, engineering and maths in early years education.
“Our young people are natural engineers. Their enthusiasm for how things work and solving problems peaks at a young age, and their perceptions of what future disciplines or careers could be for them becomes set at a young age. So our inquiry will explore how from this early age we can create a lasting legacy of STEM skills in Scotland.
“To help us, we want to hear from those who have experience of STEM in early years education, as well as those who have been involved in promoting and supporting this work.”
More information on the Committee’s inquiry can be found here.
The Committee held a round table discussion on 27 March where they heard from teachers, academics and businesses about the role STEM subjects play.
More information about that meeting can be found here.