Further financing of "Little Scientists Australia" secured
The Australian Government supports the STEM Early Childhood Education Programme for a further 5 years.
For a long time, the decision whether the Little Scientists programme would again receive funding from the Australian government was in the balance, as the economic consequences of COVID-19 forced politicians to reduce spendings.
On 6 October 2020 - with the delayed publication of the new federal budget - the good news came: Little Scientists Australia will receive a sum of AU$2.8m (converted: 1.7 million Euros) for another 5 years. "This is significantly less than last time, but in view of the worldwide crisis situation, we can simply be happy that our work is being appreciated and that we can continue with our educational mission to inspire girls and boys for STEM topics and to train teachers and educators", reports Olde Lorenzen, Managing Director of FROEBEL Australia Ltd.
Outstanding work stands out
An independent study commissioned by the Australian government on STEM initiatives, funded since July 2016, gave the Little Scientists programme very good ratings. The independent scientific study conducted by Charles Sturt University and led by Associate Professor Amy MacDonald also highlighted the very positive impact of the Little Scientists Programme on teachers and educators in the area of STEM education:
"Initially this gave us hope for the future", reports Sibylle Seidler, Project Manager of Little Scientists Australia. "But with the Corona pandemic and the subsequent budget restrictions, it became clear to everyone that money for educational initiatives like ours would be very limited, if at all. We really had no idea until the announcement on the evening of 6 October whether we would receive any further funding. So we are all the happier now that our initiative will continue to receive funding. I am infinitely grateful to my team for continuing to believe in us and for overcoming the time despite the many worries about the future and challenges such as home schooling, lack of resources, no face to face workshops - that we, together as a team, have overcome the time with a lot of creativity!
Little Scientists - Partner of the German foundation "Haus der kleinen Forscher“
Since 2013 FRÖBEL has been continuously developing a network in kindergartens and primary schools in Australia as an exclusive partner of the German foundation "Haus der kleinen Forscher". Like the foundation in Germany, the "Little Scientists" are committed to better education for children of kindergarten and primary school age in the fields of natural sciences, mathematics and technology. With workshops, the "Little Scientists" support teachers and educators in promoting the spirit of discovery among girls and boys and providing them with qualified support in their playful research:
- More than 6,800 teachers and educators took part in the workshops
- More than 194,000 children throughout Australia have done playful research with Little Scientists through their teachers and educators
- During COVID-19, more than 1,900 teachers, educators and parents participated in Little Scientists webinars and virtual incursions. In addition, 3 to 4 thousand children participated in the virtual incursions during the lockdown in Melbourne
- The network comprises 42 local network partners throughout Australia