STEMSkills Online is a fun, interactive learning platform for students with disabilities to explore, build skills, and apply for the jobs of the future.
According to DOL employment findings, many of the top jobs are in STEM fields.
Young people with disabilities are often not offered employment exploration opportunities in the STEM field or with innovative companies.
In addition, there is a lack of online, interactive learning that is employer-needs-based, inclusive, and helps people with disabilities explore career paths in STEM.
Students with disabilities commonly end up in low-wage, service sector jobs. There is a clear opportunity to open up alternative career pathways for students, build work-based skills, and create pathways for self-determination and independence. This is where STEMSkills Online comes in.
Our Solution – Phase 1
In 2017, Eric Duer (M. Ed. Special Education Transition, CESP) began taking students to visit Tesla and Microsoft, the flight tower at Dulles, to veterinarians, maker spaces, and more, to give students exposure to the STEM work environment and consider new and exciting career paths. Eric emphasized workplace culture norms in group conversations with STEM professionals and boosted independent living skills and autonomy by traveling together on the Metro.
“I believe STEM Skills is an amazing program that truly cares about the kids…I believe they’re getting exposed to many different environments…and are gaining skills that will improve their lives overall.” Dominique, Microsoft
Our Solution – Phase 2
Phase 2 of STEMSkills is our new, online platform, STEMSKills Online. Our platform takes the exploratory and skills-building format of the on-the-ground programs and adds more in an interactive online curriculum.
With 8 courses and over 80 lessons, the STEMSkills pilot v1.0 began beta testing in the fall of 2020 with a partner agency in the DC area and is now rolling out version 2.0 with more partners.