With science and digitalisation emphasised further in the new Swedish preschool curriculum, there is a need to clarify teachers’ role in educating children in and about these areas. With research pointing out the importance of a conscious language use in STEM teaching, we here focus on words used by teachers and children during inquiry-based STEM activities in five different preschools. Bers’ powerful ideas about early childhood computational thinking (Bers 2018. Coding as a Playground. New York: Routledge.) were used for analysis and results highlight how digital programming and use of robots can promote a more versatile use of robotic words, compared to analogue, ‘unplugged’, programming without robots. Furthermore, it is also found that use of precise decontextualised language by the teacher seems to stimulate children’s use of words related to STEM and the object of learning. The findings add to the discussion about how teachers can scaffold children’s learning by inquiry teaching of STEM supported by robotics.
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