Sandra Beale on STEAM in the Early Years

In this conversation, Sandra Beale discusses various science experiments that she conducts with very young children as hands-on learning experiences. The experiments include lighting a balloon filled with water, demonstrating how water absorbs heat, and pouring water down a string to show how water molecules ‘stick together’ as well as other experiments.

Although some may argue that these experiments are too advanced for young children, Sandra believes - and has shown - that children can understand and analyze scientific concepts at an early age.
· August 4, 2023

Mum of three Sandra Beale started Toddler and Early Years STEM sessions when her middle son was 9 months old. He’s 8 now!

What started as entertainment solely for her baby soon grew after visiting friends were amazed at a 9-month-old doing science experiments and wanted their children to participate in the sessions.

Since then, the sessions have grown and have appeared several times on the BBC, BBC Tiny Happy People, BBC Radio, local newspapers and magazines and have been nominated for a STEM Initiative of the Year Award at the Cambridge Science and Technology Awards.

The sessions are free and are held every Monday morning at Sandra’s home at 9:30am for an hour throughout the year. There are various themed sessions depending on the time of year, for example Sandra recently held a Valentine STEM session over the February half term with 11 children aged from 8 months to 8 years.

In November last year Sandra organised an Early Years STEAM campaign to raise funds for Children in Need. The event was very successful and was covered by the BBC radio and TV. It is the third time that she has organised a STEAM session to raise money for Children in Need.

The first time she sold STEM Jars of Experiments to raise money for Children in Need and the second time she organised a Nationwide STEM session over zoom and had several families from all parts of the country including Scotland, Wales and Ireland participating in three fun experiments.

For two years now Sandra has also participated in the BBC’s STEM Science Month with a presentation on her Early Years STEM project.

Sandra has also run sessions at the Saffron Walden Museum and at the Cambridge Science Centre and has been running sessions at some of the local primary schools with their infant classes.


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