The Help Group’s STEM3 Academy, the first school of its kind to provide a robust STEM curriculum to young people with special needs, announces the launch of an elementary school program for the 2016-2017 academic year. This growth comes on the heels of a successful first year, which included the expansion of a middle school program at the beginning of 2016.
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 non-traditional learning methods due to autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, 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,” said 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.”
Young children are natural scientists, engineers, and problem-solvers, exploring the world by touching, tasting, building, dismantling, and discovering. 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, and the Academy’s Innovation and Maker Space will offer young learners access to state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to create and innovate.
“We are proud of the accomplishments of the STEM3 Academy students and staff since opening one year ago,” said Dr. Susan Berman, COO at The Help Group. “Our dedicated faculty 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.”
The success of STEM3 Academy is due to an environment that engages students and emphasizes learning rather than teaching. 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.
“STEM-related jobs and industries are constantly evolving and there is a growing need for young, qualified talent,” said Dr. Diane Flannery, Help Group Senior Director of Design & Strategy. “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.”
More information on STEM3 Academy can be found at www.STEM3Academy.org