STEM programme sets Territory preschoolers for jobs of the future

Joint Media Release with Minister For Education and Training Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Northern Territory Preschoolers are set for a science and maths skills boost as part of a new Coalition Government programme.

Backed by $6 million from the Coalition Government, the Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) pilot will run at Larapinta Preschool (Alice Springs), Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Preschool (Bathurst Island), St Mary’s Community of Learners Preschool (Darwin), Moulden Park Preschool (Palmerston), Nakara Preschool (Darwin) and Bees Creek Preschool (Darwin rural area)

Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said engagement with STEM from an early age will help develop problem-solving skills that can set children up for life.

“This programme will be a launch pad for a life-long interest in STEM for Northern Territory preschoolers,” Senator Scullion said.

“This will help plant the seeds of curiosity and inspiration in STEM from an early age and help with the development of spatial awareness as well as numeracy and problem solving skills.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said 4,000 children across 100 preschools will learn STEM skills through the ELSA program.

“We know engagement with STEM at an early age will be essential for children to develop the skills needed to navigate our rapidly-changing world and the jobs of the future,” Minister Birmingham said

“The ELSA program is an easy-to-use teaching resource that introduces our youngest learners to STEM in fun and engaging ways.

“It will complement the skills and experiences of teachers at preschool and of families at home.”

ELSA is one of three early learning initiatives funded under the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) and follows the Little Scientists program delivered by Frobel Australia Limited and The Smith Family’s Let’s Count program.

For further information about the ELSA pilot, including the list of 100 participating preschool services, visit