As home schooling and online education become our new norm for the next few months, Griffith University is assisting parents and teachers by making available a teaching resource to help young children in reading, mathematics and science.
Two highly acclaimed home-reader series, Millie the Mathematician and Suzie the Scientist can now be downloaded free of charge as interactive e-books.
Parents can also view them as video books (via YouTube) and as interactive online books via the internet.
The digital resources are aimed at children from pre-K to Year 2 and aligned to the strands and substrands of the Australian Curriculum in mathematics and science.
Previously, these resources were only available to schools, but Griffith has now opened them up to all, as parents and home-carers oversee their children’s online schooling for the foreseeable future.
“As schools and homes around Australia move into the virtual learning environment, we could think of nothing better than having these e-books, video books and online books available to parents and children at home,” Professor Richard John from Griffith Sciences, said.
More than 140,000 print books are in Australian schools with more than 10% of schools nationally having adopted the resources.
“Each 24-book series features engaging lead characters (Suzie and Millie) who present interesting scientific and mathematical ideas to engage kids and empower parents to explore and discuss these concepts while, at the same time, developing and improving reading literacies and fluency,” Professor John said.
“Learning to read is the single most important life skill that we, as parents, can pass onto our children.
“Unfortunately, the home reading process can often be frustrating for both parents and kids but with these e-books we are putting the fun back into home reading for parents and children, as well as raising awareness and developing skills in Science, Technology and Mathematics (STeM).
“Just as importantly, Suzie the Scientist and Millie the Mathematician serve as important female role models in STEM, showing both boys and girls that STEM and STEM studies are appropriate pursuits for all.”
Professor John said early exposure to STEM concepts will allow children to get to grips with a rapidly changing modern world of technology and the massive disruption that is currently occurring.
“Disturbingly, we currently have declining numbers of students studying STEM beyond Year 10 and this is having a knock-on effect with university numbers in STEM programs and a shortage of STEM trained professionals in Australian industries.