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The Many Benefits of STEM Education

If you’re concerned that STEM is taking up too much classroom time, consider this: STEM permeates the curriculum in ways subjects taught in isolation can’t. STEM also teaches the skills students need for success beyond their formal education.

STEM-3Unsplash

Teachers know that they have to take advantage of every minute of instructional time they can get with students. STEM programs, with their integrated lessons, seem to usurp a considerable amount of instructional time. That can lead to arguments about pulling kids away from traditional subjects like science and math.

However, STEM offers students experiences they can’t get in traditional classrooms. STEM integrates learning through interdisciplinary studies. It affords the application of 21st-century learning skills. And finally, STEM teaches resilience.

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Robots May Help Kids with Special Needs

The numbers for autism are staggering:

  • 1.8 million cases of autism in the U.S.

 

  • 1 case diagnosed every 20 minutes

 

  • 24,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. every year.

 

  • Lifetime care for an autistic person: $3.2 million.

 

  • Autism care costs annually in U.S.: $35 billion.

 

ASD photoPhoto by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Bonnie Gamane speaks wistfully as she recalls the day last year when a robot named Millennia visited the school she administers. What she saw were children with autism interacting with the robot in a way they never had before interacted with humans.

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The key role of EdTech in Special Education

Some students face more challenges than others in their learning process. They were once labelled as ‘lazy’ or ‘stupid’; today, with our better understanding of the medical conditions that can hinder learning, they are simply students with special needs.

Students with physical or cognitive disabilities require special education teachers who can give them individual attention, which is often a problem for institutions that are understaffed or have a modest budget; however, investing in assistive technology can increase their level of independence and decrease the need for one-on-one time—it does not eliminate the need for special ed teachers completely, but it certainly reduces the strain. Let’s see how.

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Washoe County School District Gifted and Talented Program- Case Study

Washoe County School District Gifted and Talented Program- Case Study with RobotLAB at NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Conference 2016 

I am Cheri Di Martino. I am the Director of Washoe county School District – our gifted program. And we are really excited to talk about NAO with you today. What we did in Washoe County is we knew we needed to get into the 21st century, we knew we needed to teach kids at a level they needed to be taught, so we were looking for a partner that could take us into the 21st century and get those NAGC standards, our state standards and have this beautiful marriage together. Well, what we found was RobotLAB, and we found the NAO robot. So what we asked was could a picturesque humanoid robot achieve what we wanted to achieve in Washoe County? This is something that could really help take our 

students to a whole other level. This is something I'm feeling very passionate about, but I could feel passionate about something, but will everybody else around me feel that same passion, that same energy and want to buy into this incredible, incredible product.               

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NAO to be Used in Special Education Elective

Great news: a new Robotics Elective to help students learn computer coding will start in September at the NuView Academy of New Jersey . Teachers will also be hosting “Running Robots: Computer Coding & Special Education” - an Action Lab at the New Jersey School Boards Association’s 2016 Workshop in Atlantic City in October.

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