A STEM education just became more accessible for children with special needs. The Help Group’s STEM3 Academy, the first school of its kind to provide a robust STEM curriculum to young people with special needs, is launching an elementary school program for the 2016-17 academic year.
With the new elementary program, STEM3 Academy will offer a comprehensive and integrated curriculum from kindergarten through high school. By focusing on the long-term development, strength and needs of each student – many of whom are bright, have a passion for STEM fields and may benefit from nontraditional learning methods due to Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADH, and other social and learning differences – the school can provide the time and tools they need to thrive.
“Our experiential, hands-on approach to learning has had a tremendous impact on our students and their academic and personal success,” says Dr. Ellis Crasnow, director of STEM3 Academy. “The new elementary program will cultivate their love of learning at a young age, nourish the potential of our students to accomplish great things and prepare them for the greater responsibilities that await them in middle school.”
The elementary school curriculum is built on the integration of play and learning, with hands-on content that is developmentally appropriate and age-relevant. Classes focus on general education fundamentals and STEM studies such as computer science, robotics and engineering.
“We are proud of the accomplishments of the STEM3 Academy students and staff since opening one year ago,” says Dr. Susan Berman, COO at The Help Group. “Our dedicated teachers create exciting, new ways to integrate innovation into the curriculum and develop ways for our students to collaborate. Through this elementary program, we can foster their natural abilities and create greater opportunities to grow and learn.”
At the heart of the school is an Innovation Lab and Maker Space where students are involved in diverse fields such as robotics, electronics and 3D modeling and printing using a variety of high-tech equipment, including a CNC machine, 3D printers and pens, Arduinos and CAD software. The curriculum also addresses 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity to help students gain the skills necessary to succeed in today’s world.
STEM3 Academy was designed to prepare students for meaningful careers in a wealth of fields, such as engineering, cyber-security, biomedical, coding, game development, accounting, web design and IT. Partnerships and mentor programs with leading businesses offer students real-world interaction and a first-hand knowledge of industries and career paths.
“STEM-related jobs and industries are constantly evolving and there is a growing need for young, qualified talent,” says Berman. “Our ultimate goal is to improve the life options for our students and the initial success of the school shows us that the possibilities are truly endless.”
To learn more about STEM3 Academy, visit www.STEM3Academy.org.