In October 2021, Methodist Preschool Services piloted a new, first-of-its-kind programme in partnership with Space Faculty Pte Ltd to introduce its K2 students to space exploration.
This ‘Space Buds’ programme aimed to build lifelong interest and foundational knowledge in space and STEM. The highlight of the programme was a live Zoom session with American astronaut, Nick Hague from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He shared fascinating stories, photos and videos of his time in space. He may well have inspired K2 student Anya Wong to consider a career in space. “I would like to float around in space, do somersaults and fly like a bird. It would be so exciting to do things that I can’t do on Earth,” said Anya.
From the experience of conducting the programme, Mrs Janice Lim-Raj, Principal of Faith Methodist Preschool, noted that while space may be an abstract concept, it can be made relatable to young children through hands-on activities. For example, light and shadow play was used to explain moon phases. Children also sampled space ice cream to learn the difference between food consumed in space and on Earth.
“When I was your age, I wanted to know why things worked the way they worked and why things were the way they were. And even more so when I looked up at the night sky — I saw all the stars (and) I was like, ‘What is out there?’. As I grew up, I started to realise that the curiosity (I had) was something I could do for a job. I could be a scientist, ask questions, and do experiments and answer those.”
Nick Hague, NASA astronaut