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Sabrina Rehman - Little Scholars Strandherd Montessori

Year: 2017 – Province: Ontario

Transcript—Sabrina Rehman Video

[Sabrina Rehman speaks to camera, with the Parliament buildings as a backdrop behind her]

[Photos of Sabrina and her students are displayed on screen throughout her interview]
[Upbeat music plays softly in the background]

My name is Sabrina, and I am the Director at Little Scholars Montessori in Barrhaven, Ottawa. And we have five sites and 200 families.

[Text on screen: Sabrina Rehman, Ontario]
I had graduated as an electrical engineer from Carleton University, and as an engineer I was involved in a research and design project for an NGO that was related to improving children's access to early education in developing countries. And as part of my experience with that, that's where I realized that I was really passionate about early childhood education.

Being recognized for something that you're so passionate about is such a great honour. And just even this best practice session that we were part of, just meeting so many educators that are – you know, that have similar goals for children has been exceptional.

The highlight of my presentation was talking about STEM, which is science, technology, engineering, and math based experiences in early childhood education.

[Video footage of Sabrina receiving her award from Justin Trudeau is intercut]

And those are a lot of inquiry-based, hands-on experiences where children learn to collaborate, problem solve, and really be change agents within their community and world right from preschool.

Never underestimate the potential of children. We end up doing that sometimes subconsciously. And children at this age, we now know through research, are not blank vessels. They're born with innate learning abilities, and we need to capitalize on that as ECEs. And we know that 80 percent of brain development is complete by age three, so we should be able to use those years to really provide meaningful experiences.

Knowing that the impact that I have on a child's life now is lifelong is – is amazing. And I just want to thank them for allowing me to be there in their lives at this time that is so critical and so everlasting.

Teacher: Give a shout-out to Miss Sabrina.

Student: Woohoo!

[Canada wordmark]

[Music ends]

Certificate of Excellence Recipient

Sabrina Rehman

Little Scholars Strandherd Montessori
Unit 116, 4100 Strandherd Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K2J 0V2

Telephone: 613-277-6866

Type of setting: Child care centre, children aged 12 months to 6 years

Award-winning engineer turned educator, Sabrina Rehman pioneers an innovative and holistic STEM-based program and inspires children to see and explore even the most abstract concepts.

Philosophy of care

Rehman believes that children are the future and invites them to celebrate their uniqueness. She sees the environment as their third teacher and organizes it with open-ended materials that her students can explore and use to communicate their ideas.

Support of child development

  • Rehman's I am a Star initiative allows each child to build a star-shaped display of their likes, dreams, fears, etc. and displays the stars on a Stars of Fame wall. This knowledge is used to craft individualized activities and learning.
  • Rehman's STEM program has students classifying gems and rocks, preserving leaves and racing marbles. In her Makerspace, students have designed and engineered creations like Rob the recycling robot, who cares for the environment.
  • Rehman teaches ASL (American Sign Language) from toddler age, which offers children with developmental delays a bridge to communication.

Involvement with parents, families and the community

  • Developed an Observe-Engage-Reflect documentation and observation tool that enables her to extend learning boundaries and provide feedback to parents.
  • Partnered with families and the community to redesign a more nature-filled outdoor playground with pathways, art and slides that are accessible to all children. Students plant mini garden beds of herbs and vegetables where parents are free to pick from throughout the year.
  • A Parent-Child Art Auction has parents and their children creating a freeform art piece that is auctioned off to raise funds for a charitable organization chosen by the children.

Rave reviews

"Sabrina empowers children with age-appropriate experiences related to engineering, physics and applied mathematics, but more importantly inspires an attitude that is beneficial for a lifetime: respect for self, respect for each other and respect for the environment."


"Sabrina uses science, technology, engineering and math based experiences to involve community professionals such as local mechanics, biologists, environmental engineers or architects to share unique perspectives and participate in age-appropriate projects with the children."

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