Press Release: New STEM Initiative and STEM³ Academy Expansion
*For Immediate Release*
The Help Group
The First-of-its-kind in the Nation, STEM³ Academy Opens Two More Campuses for Students with Special Needs
STEM³ is a new initiative of The Help Group that provides STEM education with a residential option and services for parents, educators, and special needs students and young adults
Los Angeles, CA, August 8, 2017 – The Help Group’s STEM³ Academy (pronounced STEM Cubed Academy), the first school in the nation to provide a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum to students with special needs, is now launching a full K-12 school in Culver City, CA and a middle school program in Sherman Oaks, CA for the 2017-18 academic year. The expansion is part of a bigger initiative called STEM³ and comes on the heels of a successful first two years, community demand, and a global need for STEM talent.
“Our STEM³ initiative provides a powerful early STEM education for students K-12 with a therapeutic residential option, plans for vocational training for young adults, community events for families, and conferences and workshops for educators,” says Dr. Susan Berman, COO of The Help Group. “We’re focused on developing strategies and programs for young people with special needs that encourage inclusion and a passion for STEM. We’re very excited about this new initiative and our STEM³ Academy expansion.”
STEM³ Academy first grew out of a pilot project developed by The Help Group in 2013 to help technology-driven students with autism and social or learning differences explore their interests. The project infused 21st century learning skills, such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem solving, and project-based learning into a STEM curriculum. Parents referred to the program as “life-changing,” and soon after that the first STEM³ Academy was launched in Valley Glen, a suburb in Los Angeles County. Now the STEM school is expanding in Culver City and Sherman Oaks beginning August 28, 2017.
According to Dr. Ellis Crasnow, Director of STEM³ Academy and STEM Education at The Help Group, “There is a high demand and need for qualified STEM talent, and a STEM education is the key to remaining competitive in a global economy. Our students have exceptional talents, and our goal is to develop those gifts into excellences while supporting their unique needs.” According to the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35% of students on the spectrum choose a STEM major in comparison to 23% of the general population. “We want to help nurture those natural talents early on,” says Crasnow.
STEM3 Academy offers a comprehensive and integrated college preparatory curriculum, focusing on the long-term development, strength and needs of each student. Many of these students are bright, have a passion for STEM fields and benefit from nontraditional teaching methods, such as project-based learning. At the heart of the school is an innovation lab and maker space where students are involved in diverse pursuits such as robotics, electronics, film, audio mixing, and 3D modeling and printing using a variety of high-tech equipment. Under the umbrella of The Help Group, STEM³ Academy is able to provide the time and tools that these students need to thrive.
STEM³ Academy was designed to prepare students for meaningful careers in a variety 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.
To learn more about the STEM³ initiative and STEM³ Academy, visit www.stem3academy.org.
About The Help Group
Founded in 1975, The Help Group is the largest, most innovative and comprehensive nonprofit of its kind in the United States serving children, adolescents and young adults with special needs related to autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse and emotional challenges.
The Help Group’s ten specialized day schools offer pre-K through high school programs for more than 1,600 students. Its broad range of mental health and therapy services, child abuse and residential programs extends its reach to more than 6,000 children and their families each year.
To learn more about The Help Group, visit www.thehelpgroup.org.