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.
Acellus STEM Robotics Lab
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 Grants for Special Education
This grant program has been created 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.
“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)
Through this grant, matching funds are available to cover 50% of the cost of Acellus STEM Learning Pods, Acellus licenses, and media servers. Grant funding is also available to cover 100% of the tuition for the three-day Acellus Camp Certification and Training.
To request information on the Acellus STEM Grant for Special Education for your school or district, please contact the International Academy of Science by phone, or via our contact form.