The programme has been developed with BP and focusses on boosting children’s understanding of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), enhancing their fine motor skills, building their vocabulary and helping them become critical thinkers.
At the first BP-STEM class, the children got involved in their first experiment by predicting whether certain objects will sink or float.The children quickly got to work sorting the objects into floating and sinking groups by predicting what they might do.
Then the young scientists were split into two teams and they were given a group of objects to see if their predictions were correct. They analysed the results and found the heavier the object, the more likely it is to sink. They also noticed that a small, heavy object can sink but a large, light object will float.
During the course of the STEM classes, our preschool aged children displayed an interest and were very keen to participate in the STEM activities. The following day after our floating and sinking class, while eating breakfast, one child aged two and a half dropped a piece of toast in his bowl of cereal and immediately reported to the practitioners ‘oh no my toast is sinking'.
Nursery manager Tez Razzaq, added: “I am delighted to have joined an innovative nursery that offers STEM classes. Not only will this develop the children’s knowledge but also my own. I look forward to sharing with our parents how we teach STEM to their children.
Acorns day nursery and preschool is situated near BP’s International Centre for Business and Technology (ICBT) in Sunbury-on-Thames, providing early years care and education for the children of BP’s working families.
Samantha Bulkeley, UK schools education manager for BP, said: "Research shows that by the age of seven, stereotypes have already been set around gender and careers and ‘what sort of job is for me’.
"By engaging with children in early years, companies can help to challenge these perceptions and broaden their ideas about their futures. Having taken part in this pilot we are delighted to see the impact it has had on the children, increasing their curiosity and encouraging them that they can all ‘think like a scientist’."