The Help Group’s STEM3 initiative recently announced the first nationwide STEM challenge for students in grades 6-12 with social, learning or other neuro-developmental differences. For the STEM3 Special Challenge, students need to identify a STEM solution to a pressing issue faced by individuals, communities, or the world at large. The deadline to submit is Tuesday, January 30, and the winners will be notified and awarded cash prizes in different categories on April 1.
“At The Help Group, we encourage young people with special needs to pursue their passion for STEM. With the STEM3 Special Challenge, this is a way to nurture those talents early on,” says Dr. Ellis Crasnow, Director of STEM Education at The Help Group.
STEM3 is an initiative of The Help Group that provides K-12 STEM education at its nationally recognized STEM3 Academy, a residential boarding option, and a full range of STEM related programs for students and young adults with special needs as well as parents and educators.
According to the site STEMconnector, by 2018, 8.65m workers will be needed for STEM-related jobs in the USA. Many students with special needs possess the skills that STEM fields seek. The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders reports that about 35% of students with autism spectrum disorders choose a STEM major in comparison to 23% of the general population.
“We’re focused on developing strategies and programs for young people with special needs that helps prepare them for opportunities in STEM. We’re very excited about this STEM3 Special Challenge, and can’t wait to see what the students come up with,” says Dr. Susan Berman, COO of 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. For more information and to enter the challenge, visit www.stem3.thehelpgroup.org•