All for one, one for all...
STEM education is at the forefront of everyone's minds, as our society becomes increasingly science and technology based. The latest research indicates that in the next decade an estimated 75% of jobs, in the fastest-growing industries, will require skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
While all children stand to benefit from STEM education, children from certain vulnerable sectors of the community, including those with disabilities, may stand to gain the most. A number of children with additional needs, particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) really enjoy (and may even excel in...) Coding, Robotics, and 3D Printing. STEM subjects offer logical and consistent approaches to learning and problem solving, and this often attracts Autistic children to studies and professions in STEM fields. Building upon a special interest in STEM, shown by some kids with ASD, can mean opening up a world of opportunities and setting them up with skills for a successful future.
For STEM-minded kids with ASD, and other learning difficulties, who may be socially awkward and have trouble finding where they 'fit'; developing their STEM skills and encouraging them to follow their interest can be a form of empowerment. These 'quirky' or 'weird' kids (as they are often labelled and dismissed) are sadly too often the subject of bullying and they become susceptible to developing poor mental health. Being involved in STEM clubs, which cater for their differences, can impart a wealth of self-confidence in who they are as valuable individuals.
With the shift in our society and economy towards STEM-dependent and technology-driven jobs (across all sectors), equipping students of additional needs with STEM skills is an important consideration for supporting them into the future.
At RoboLink we have a special interest in supporting, educating, and up-skilling kids of different abilities; and particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our Not-For-Profit arm - 'CAD Robotics STEMspiration', was established in 2019, enabling us to fund free 'STEMability' Clubs (in and out of school) - where kids get to learn Robotics, Coding, or 3D Printing whilst building friendships and developing social skills. STEMability programs are available to all kids of different abilities, who have an interest in STEM and need a place where they feel that they belong. We see every child's potential, and we want to be part of shaping their bright future!
For more information on our Not-For-Profit intiative and/or our STEMability Clubs and services available to schools for students with additional needs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org