ASAH 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)
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.
Alpha School an private special education school in New Jersey
Our Mission at The Alpha School is to help all of our special needs students with the learning, social, language, and behavioral support they deserve. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student to becoming the best they can while providing a safe and nurturing educational environment.
We would be more than happy to discuss your child’s specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.370.1150, or request a tour of Alpha School of Jackson, NJ located just minutes off of Route 9 and Route 195 in Ocean County.
— John Gonzalez, Principal-Alpha School, Jackson, NJ