ASAH 2021 Conference–Incorporating STEM into the Special Needs Classroom
On November 19th, 2021, Diane Gray, Supervisor of Instruction at Alpha School, and Amy Brandon, Supervisor of Instruction at Harbor School, presented at this year's 43rd annual ASAH Conference. Ms. Gray and Ms. Brandon presented a workshop on incorporating STEM into the special needs classroom.
What is STEM? (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) – How RKS Schools integrate STEM in their programs
STEM is so much more than just teaching those subjects. It’s about the thought process and the higher order thinking that goes into solving problems. Incorporating STEM education into the special needs classroom can benefit the students and prepare them for their future. They will be more prepared for the challenges that await them outside the classroom environment. It can help students adapt to their environment and prepare them for a future society where they can encounter all different kinds of people and experiences. STEM allows the students to problem solve and think critically. It gets them to collaborate with each other and use hands-on activities to make predictions and find conclusions that they will apply into the real world.
Ms. Gray and Ms. Brandon discussed these benefits and shared a variety of STEM technologies and strategies to give special education teachers the confidence to incorporate STEM into their classroom. A few of the activities that were highlighted in the presentation were the Makey Makey, Ozobot, and Gravity Maze.
A Makey Makey is a small circuit board that turns physical objects (like a banana) into buttons for your computer. It works by creating electrical circuits. ... To complete the circuit, the student needs to hold a ground wire. This ground wire works as a return path for the electricity.
Ozobot is a little toy robot that blends the physical and digital worlds — and teaches kids programming. ... Ozobot can identify lines, colors, and codes on both digital surfaces, such as an iPad, and physical surfaces, such as paper.
It is a gravity-powered logic maze game that builds reasoning skills and visual perception. Use the challenge cards to strategically place towers and create a path for your marble to reach the target.
Request a Tour of The Gateway School
Since 1980, RKS Associates has been a leader in providing the needs of special education students and helping children grow to their fullest potential. Each of our schools seeks to empower each student with skills for life, work, and recreation; we believe that every individual possesses the dignity and potential to contribute to a better world.
As part of the RKS Associates Network of schools in New Jersey, the goal at the Gateway School is to assist all students in becoming as independent as possible and help them get ready for the future. Located in Carteret, NJ, we serve individuals throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. Contact us at our main office at 732.541.4400 with any questions or schedule a private tour of the Gateway School today.
Chris Hoye, Principal-The Gateway School of Carteret, NJ