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Special Education Listserv

Subject: Explorations in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Source: Missouri School for the Blind, St. Louis, Missouri

Intended Audience: Students statewide in grades 5-12 who are blind or visually impaired

Date: January 23, 2013

Missouri School for the Blind (MSB) is offering Missouri students who are blind or visually impaired two (2) summer sessions focused on developing students' abilities to access Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) with increased independence.

Summer STEM participants will work in collaborative teams, using state-of-the-art technology specifically designed for students who are blind/visually impaired to solve problems, explore concepts, and develop scientific inquiry skills that can be applied to science and math curricula.  Courses offer students interactive opportunities to work alongside experienced STEM staff to develop skills for scientific inquiry which will allow them to increase their independence while participating in laboratory-based classes.  In addition to organized STEM activities, participants will practice community-based Orientation and Mobility skills and safely accessing unfamiliar environments for both learning and leisure recreation.  Students will have the opportunity to foster new friendships and practice Activities of Daily Living skills designed to increase independence in the home and school environment.

STEM summer sessions are provided free of charge for qualifying students.  Transportation and MSB supervised residential housing are provided for students outside the St. Louis metro area.  Students return home on weekends. 

Recycle City Session 1: July 8-19, 2013 (2 weeks), Grades 5-8

Recycle City is an interactive session where students will explore the environmental impact of reusing, repurposing, and up-cycling for a sustainable environment, as well as STEM careers.  Students will investigate the impact of trash, then design and construct an environmentally sustainable zero-trash model city.  They will also explore opportunities for up-cycling and recycling in their own lives, visit community-based STEM venues, meet professionals in the field, and experience the challenges of living in a zero-trash society.  Students will see how people reduce waste, use less energy, help sustain our environment, and even save money by doing simple things at home, work, and in their neighborhoods.

Robotics Academy 2013 Session 2: July 22-August 2, 2013 (2 weeks), Grades 7-12

Robotics Academy 2013 is an engaging session where students will learn how to program basic robot behaviors using motors and rotation, sound, light, touch, and ultrasonic sensors.  During MSB's Robotics Academy 2013 students will have the opportunity to meet engineers who work with robots in their daily jobs as well as research the impact of real-world robots.  Students will learn how to use programming language, build a robot, explore basic robotic behavior, use sensors, and participate in a robot competition.  Research projects cover key STEM concepts, step-by-step programming instructions, and many challenge questions to reinforce key educational outcomes.

Applications are due by May 15, 2013.  Visit http://www.msb.dese.mo.gov/ for more information and a registration form or contact Joy Waddell, Assistant Superintendent, at 314-776-4320 (ext. 1140) or joyce.waddell@msb.dese.mo.gov.