Ardoch is excited to share that our Curious Young Minds Early Stem Literacy Program has been announced as the WINNER in the ‘Improving Access and Participation in Early Learning’ in the Department of Education and Training’s Victorian Early Years Awards (VEYA).
We are incredibly proud to be recognised for the program, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) initiative developed with the support of Deakin University to improve STEM literacy and learning outcomes for children in their early years. The award is a fantastic validation of the program’s strength, especially given that in 2020, 117 nominations were received with 20 finalists shortlisted across all categories.
Supported with funding from the Baker Foundation since its inception in 2017, the Curious Young Minds program has been delivered to 41 early years centres across Victoria, reached 2175 children aged from three to five years, mobilised 87 trained volunteers across 7949 volunteer hours, and significantly lifted children’s STEM literacy levels and outcomes.
The program has been carefully designed to provide targeted programs for children aged 3 to 5 years to embed Ardoch’s STEM Literacy program into kindergarten, playgroups and early childhood centres. It aims to provide support and enhance the development of early childhood STEM-Literacy using trained volunteers, and to increase parent engagement in children’s learning.
Deakin University has developed an evidence-based program to be delivered, a training program for volunteers and an evaluation framework to assess impact. Each early years centre partner receives a box of new, high quality materials including a digital robot and materials to support the delivery of the program.
We are delighted to receive $15,000 to put towards professional development, further development of the program and sharing our knowledge with others in the field. Ardoch would also like to congratulate all other finalists and winners. Visit the Department of Education and Training website to read more about the award here