Saturday 26 November 2022. 9:00am - 10:00am

Sue Dale Tunnicliffe

STEM in play in the earliest years

Contact Author: Sue Dale Tunnicliffe. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

IOE, University College London, London WC1H 0AL, United Kingdom


Children are instinctive investigators. In play, interactions involve STEM actions –predominantly forces, pushes, pulls and twists. Through playing, they learn incrementally, constructed from the first observations and interpretations of natural and constructed objects, often called toys and interactions with available technologies. Interaction in some countries with digital technologies is also play and contributes to creativity and problem solving.

Play in the young, is an apprenticeship for adulthood, observable in different societies. Many play types have been identified, such as re-enactment play. STEM actions occur in most play, yet it has remained unidentified. Play is children’s work (Roth et al. 2013) is unlike the recreational role of play by adults. The earliest experiences are STEM-E (Experiences) and develop into STEM when skills and actions have been mastered.

Dawn Wisemana, Limin Jaob, Taylor Rubinb, Kaylei Grobeckkera, Steven Campeaua, Marie Lou Boisverta

Meeting curricular requirements: a mapping of student-directed STEM

Contact author: Dawn Wiseman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

aSchool of Education, Bishop’s University, Ktinékétolékouac (Sherbrooke, QC) J1M 3Z7, Canada

bDepartment of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, Tiohti:àke (Montreal, QC) H3A 0G4, Canada


We describe longitudinal study results of Grade 7 student-directed STEM inquiry (SDSI) at a small, independent school in Québec. The school is commitment to research-based practice; teachers know SDSI improves student conceptual understandings, retention, skills (Bunterm et al., 2019). They struggle with research-identified barriers to implementing SDSI: lack of time, resources, professional learning, etc. (Fitzgerald et al., 2019). This presentation focuses specifically on teacher concerns regarding connections to mandated curricular requirements (Fitzgerald et al., 2019) via the question: How does SDSI align with the Québec Education Program (QEP)? We present analyses/mappings of curricular outcomes from Years 1&2, and alignment with the QEP. The presentation thus addresses a key concern in STEM education.