Acellus STEM

Acellus STEM-10 Initiative

The Acellus STEM-10 initiative is a 10 year program in coding. It starts with students in the 3rd Grade, adding complexity each year until a student graduates from high school as a certified programmer ready to enter the work place.

STEM-10 is an initiative envisioned by Acellus Founder and Chairman, Dr. Roger Billings. Rather than the usual games or dancing robots associated with STEM, this course is a serious educational endeavor. All 10 years of the courseware are specifically targeted at empowering students to get jobs in technology and to make significant contributions in the real world.

In the first year of STEM-10, the 3rd graders take lessons starting from square zero and then advance step-by-step through the fundamentals of coding. In the first half of the year, the course builds a baseline understanding of the concepts needed to learn coding. In the second half of the year, the students are introduced to Cellus Bot, a teaching robot which is equipped with lights, motor, and sensors, all of which are controlled by block coding modules included as part of the course. As an additional touch, the Bot sports a laser which draws shapes and circles as the robot dances. The built-in accelerometer supports program-controlled responses to movements and positioning of the Bot. Students first learn how to control the robot in the most simplistic manner, but the lessons develop in complexity as the course progresses.  See full press release…

Acellus STEM Robotics Lab

Introducing Acellus STEM Robotic Labs… Where students learn, discover, and create in a hands-on environment designed to prepare them towards STEM careers in the real-world. Unlike typical school STEM programs and learning environments, the Acellus STEM Robotics Lab is optimized to cater to exceptional learners, especially those classified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  A recent study found that of ASD students who attend college, 34% choose a STEM-related career — as opposed to only 20% of their college peers.  This, coupled with estimates that the number of STEM related jobs could reach 8.6 million by 2018, magnifies the importance of preparing special needs students to transition into college/careers preparing them to succeed in STEM related fields.

The new Acellus STEM Robotics Lab creates an environment tuned to give special needs students a discover-and-create learning experience.  Rather than only working through a simulated environment, Acellus STEM Labs provide students with an actual robot to program, called Cellus Bot.

The Acellus STEM Lab program empowers math and science teachers to offer effective coding and robotics courses without the need for extensive additional training.  For dedicated deployments, specially designed STEM Learning pods include all the tools exceptional learners need to be creative and productive – the right lighting to set that relaxed/stimulated mood, seating that is firm but not confining, a handy place to jot down notes, and touch screen monitor to interact with the program.

The Acellus STEM Lab utilizes cognitive instruction, a method of instruction that achieves student learning through the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

Acellus Coding Course

The Acellus Coding course gives step-by-step video instruction — posing problems which students experiment to solve – first mentally, next in simulation, and then in a real-world application — programming their own robot – the Cellus Bot.  Immediate feedback on their work comes to them visually via the video console — and also directly from their new learning pal, the robot.

Alternatively, courses can also be offered with graphic simulation of the robots on conventional computers or tablets, without the need for specialized equipment.

Within the Coding Course, students also learn how to program in the Blockly coding language.  In Blockly, everything is done with little building blocks that snap together in an intuitive way.  Coding in this way allows students to focus on the fundamental principles of coding without the challenging initial learning curve required for traditional programming languages and instead of only working through a simulated environment.

Students will be led through activities with incrementally more advanced building blocks. Each block is similar in structure to the syntax and style of real world programming languages. As students learn to program by snapping blocks together, they are laying a foundation for more advanced programming languages. Students will learn about conditional statements, loops, and functions.

By combining powerful on-camera instruction with interactive tutoring to the student by the robot, Acellus is able to provide schools with STEM courses that can be up and running overnight.

Acellus STEM for Special Education

A focus of the International Academy of Science to help schools deploy Acellus STEM Robotic Labs and STEM curriculum for their special needs learners.  Recent studies from credible sources show that a higher percentage of special education students transition into STEM related careers, when compared to other students. Integrating Acellus STEM Robotics Labs into the special education environment allows educators to prepare classified students to be college-ready, and prepared for a successful career.

“In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, scientists found that students diagnosed with autism had the highest STEM participation rates.  By examining 11,000 students nationwide, they found that young adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder chose STEM majors in college more often than their peers in the general population — 34 percent versus less than 23 percent”.

Not only do special needs students gravitate towards STEM careers, but the career opportunities in STEM fields, such as computer science, have exploded over the past few years, and it is anticipated that the demand will only grow over the next decade.


NSBA 2017 Featured Conference Session
Using Acellus STEM Robotics Labs to Transition Special Education Students

“Eye-opening statistics about career readiness are seemingly everywhere these days, and nowhere is that more apparent than when it comes to the future of STEM, where jobs are rapidly growing — up 17 percent from 2014 to 2024 by one estimate — and could reach 8.6 million by 2018.  In that light, the scramble to provide students with hard skills, like robotics and coding, coupled with related soft skills, such as critical thinking and collaboration, seems only natural.”  (eSchool News article by Stephen Noonoo – September 3rd, 2015)

To request information on how to get the Acellus STEM Robotics Lab for the special education learners in your school or district, please contact the International Academy of Science by phone, or via our contact form.