STEM3 Academy provides a curriculum based on science, technology, engineering and mathematics for students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and other social and learning differences. The school began as a pilot program at The Help Group’s Village Glen school in 2013 and today offers year-round rolling admissions. More than 130 students are enrolled across two campuses.
What makes STEM³ Academy stand out?
“The first school of its kind, The Help Group’s STEM³ Academy (pronounced STEM Cubed Academy) has an innovation lab for prototyping and hands-on projects building, small classes led by teachers who are passionate about their field of expertise, an award-winning robotics team, a curriculum rich with opportunities for independent projects and individual expressions of interest, and a variety of Advanced Placement classes.”
Describe the learning environment at your school.
“Our small classes, experiential and personalized learning, and state-of-the-art innovation lab provide a nurturing and structured project-based learning environment. Through a collaborative process that involves the student, parents and school, each student has a set of goals designed specifically for their unique profile. Our 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.”
What other programs do you offer?
“We offer after-school classes in a variety of areas such as robotics, computer-aided design and 3-D printing, digital design and animation, and photography. We also offer summer camps and summer school, where students can take classes in robotics, the physics of fun, coding, VR and AR, art and design, creative writing and many more. These are open to the community as well as our regularly enrolled students.”
Are you hopeful for the future when it comes to our kids?
“Yes! Economists report that the U.S. is poised to experience a severe shortfall of skilled workers to fill 8.65 million jobs in STEM-related fields. Students with special needs can help fill that gap. With a 28% increase in the number of students with neuro-developmental differences enrolled in undergraduate STEM fields, we know there is a place for STEM³ Academy graduates in tomorrow’s workforce. Our school is designed to help students find pathways to meaningful work after they graduate from high school or college.”