Friday 25 November 2022. 9:00am - 10:00am

Viktor Freimana, Osnat Fellusb, Olivia Lurettec

Kindergarten students solving engineering challenges in a STEM lab: manifestations of spatial reasoning skills

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

a,c Faculté des sciences de l’éducation, Université de Moncton, NB, Canada

cFaculty of Education, University of Ottawa, ON, Canada


We will report results of a study featuring Kindergarten students’ work in a primary school STEM Lab/Makerspace solving an engineering challenge consisted in building a shelter for a stuffed animal they chose using different carton materials and tools. Our analysis focuses on spatial reasoning skills that emerged from students’ intuitive exploration of space and shapes. Through a design thinking process as part of solving an engineering challenge (Hughes et al., 2019), students mobilized spatial thinking skills, which are considered as key element of geometric activities (Olkun, 2003).

Bronwyn Reid O’Connor

Using a ‘mad science day’ to promote a sense of wonder and curiosity in early year students: reflections from a teacher

Contact Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sydney School of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia


This presentation will reflection on a special event called the “mad science day” that was run for kindergarten to year three classes. As a secondary science teacher, the value of using my specialist science knowledge to engage students in science from the early years was recognised through collegial discussions with teaching peers from the early primary years. Early engagement in science is important (Timss et al., 2018), and drawing on a sense of wonder and curiosity in the science classroom is one avenue of supporting such engagement (Hadzigeorgiou, 2012). Though wonder has been recognised as desirable by some science educators, its use as a pedagogical tool has currently received limited attention. Thus, such an approach could be considered innovative pedagogy in STEM education.