HOWELL – The Bulldog Think Tank and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Innovation Station model classroom has opened at Memorial Elementary School, Adelphia Road.
Occupational therapist Leonora Bradley, technology specialist Skye Donzelli, media specialist Jennifer Stenard, speech-language pathologist Erin McCabe and special education teachers Maureen Rubin and Alexandra Zweig were part of a team of faculty members who received the grants to create the space, specifically with the special needs population in mind, according to a press release from the Howell K-8 School District.
The idea behind the grant was to create a multi-sensory room where children with special needs can model STEM skills for their typical peers, according to the press release. The idea became a reality when Memorial’s team received $10,000 from the OceanFirst Foundation Model Classroom Grant Program.
Memorial Elementary School houses general education pupils in grades three to five and classes for children with autism, cognitive impairments and multiple disabilities, according to the press release.
The STEM room allows additional mainstreaming and peer modeling opportunities to occur; however, this time the children with special needs will serve as the role models. They will be paired with general education pupils to teach and model STEM skills as the experts, according to the press release.
Anchoring the room are stations laid out with color coded dry erase tables and stands. The room has flexible seating, including wobble stools, cushions, bean bags and compression seats.
The stations allow students to explore STEM tools including magnets, iPads, switch activated augmentative communication devices, gears, Osmos, and building and coding tools.