STEM3 Academy is based on the following beliefs:
· Students with diverse needs are not less capable, not less able to flourish and produce real results; they are every bit as capable, often more so, than their typical peers.
· STEM3 students have exceptional talents, some nascent, and the school’s task is to develop those gifts into excellences while supporting their unique needs.
· A sense of awe and wonderment at the world around us is natural to all children and STEM3 Academy is dedicated to support them in their explorations.
· A STEM-based education provides the strongest foundation for students of all interests because of the pervasive influence of technology in the world and the countless opportunities for interaction.
· Opportunities in STEM fields play to the strengths of the students in ways that were previously impossible. The school’s role is to encourage and develop those strengths.
· Considerable evidence indicates that students benefit by starting to develop STEM skills such as computer programming, building, making, and engineering solutions to real-world problem at a young age.
The Story of STEM3 Academy
These students represent the next generation of innovators, problem solvers and creative professionals. STEM³ Academy Curriculum is designed to foster collaboration, social and critical thinking skills and creativity among special learners. Students spend their days exploring and testing solutions to real-world problems through exciting, hands-on projects. They learn that key life skills, such as developing friendships, defending a position, and working with colleagues are just as important to success as knowledge and facts.
STEM³ Academy grew out of a pilot project launched by The Help Group in 2013 in two of its existing schools to help visual, technology-driven learners explore their interests. The project infused 21st Century Learning Skills (collaboration, interaction, sharing, attitude, mindset, respect for others) and Project-Based Learning into a STEM curriculum. A small Innovation Lab with computers and 3-D printer was built with help from the W.M. Keck Foundation, along with tools and resources for a Makers Space. Students enthusiastically used their natural abilities to learn coding, 3D modeling and builder and maker skills.
Parents referred to the program as ‘life-changing,” as their students for the first time excelled in a school-based project. Based on the success of the pilot program and the enthusiasm of the students, The Help Group opened STEM³ Academy high school and middle school in the 2015-16 academic year, and elementary school in Fall 2016.
The idea of a specialized school for students with special gifts in the STEM disciplines is the next great step in building independent lives for children with social and learning differences.
For more information on STEM3 Academy, please visit the website at www.STEM3Academy.org.
Three Schools. One Approach
Three Schools. One Approach.
There are significant advantages to providing our students with an integrated curriculum from kindergarten through high school. Not only can students accelerate in certain areas as needed, they can collaborate on projects and activities. The ability to design and oversee the curriculum for three schools ensures a consistency of approach, three pieces of a whole that fit seamlessly together.
Through a collaborative process that involves the student, parents, and school, each student has a set of goals designed specifically for their unique situation. The program focuses on the development, strengths and needs of the whole student by using his or her strengths as a base and creating strategies to work around the challenging areas to ensure success.
Lower School (Grades K-5)
Young children are natural scientists, engineers and problem-solvers as they explore the world by touching, tasting, building, dismantling and discovering. STEM³ Academy elementary school years are a time for exploration and engagement, cultivating a love of learning and satisfying the child’s boundless curiosity and need to find out how things work. In the lower grades, the Innovation Lab focuses on basic skills of building and making.
Middle School (Grades 6-8)
STEM³ Academy middle school provides students from 6th grade through 8th grade a rich STEM environment in which they can flourish academically, socially and emotionally. The teachers establish strong relationships with students, challenging them not only to succeed, but to thrive. Students reach their fullest potential, prepared to meet the demands of high school, college and career.
High School (Grades 9-12)
STEM³ Academy high school develops each student’s natural skills in a supportive environment with the goal of helping them achieve their highest potential, and flourish academically, socially and emotionally. We provide a rigorous, integrated college preparatory curriculum that emphasizes the interconnections between science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the humanities. We also foster critical thinking and intellectual curiosity by providing courses and classes that emphasize depth as well as breadth of understanding.
Partnerships with local enterprises provide students with first-hand knowledge of varied STEM careers and upperclassmen intern in an area of interest to further develop their career interests and build their resumes.
Students develop a digital portfolio of their work during high school, which might include engineering projects, coding projects, robotics competitions, PowerPoints, music clips, video, and other artifacts that demonstrate their abilities. All seniors prepare a culminating trans-disciplinary honors project upon graduation, which requires them to apply their knowledge in some area of interest in a practical or experiential way. The purpose and outcome of the project will have social relevance.
For more information on our elementary, middle, or high school programs, please visit our website at: www.STEM3Academy.org.
Ellis Crasnow, PhD
Director, Stem^3 Academy and STEM Education, The Help Group
Marie Dacumos D.Ed
Stem^3 – Valley Glen
6455 Coldwater Canyon Ave.
Valley Glen, CA 91606