June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
24.726.1 - 24.726.12
Including Children With Disabilities in STEM: An Outreach Program for Dyslexic Students (Research to Practice)Across the United States, educators are calling for improved instruction in science, technology,engineering and mathematics (STEM) at all levels, kindergarten through college. STEM iscurrently recognized as a critical area of knowledge for an educated citizenship. Despiteeducators’ best efforts, however, some students are being left out of the STEM revolutionbecause they have learning challenges in areas that are considered to be more important to theirfuture success. One such group is students who are diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disabilitythat results in challenges when learning to read. These students often determine very young thatthey are not as capable in learning as their peers because they struggle to master reading. Yetmany dyslexic students are also gifted, and some researchers believe that some dyslexic studentshave a unique capacity to visualize in three dimensions, which ironically contributes to thechallenge of mastering reading in two dimensions. The ability to reason in three dimensions isan advantage when learning STEM; an advantage which should be recognized, developed andencouraged.The proposed paper will describe a university STEM outreach program, which was delivered to afive week summer camp for dyslexic students in 2013. The target population included students inkindergarten through seventh grade who had been diagnosed with dyslexia and who wereattending this summer camp, which was designed to support their learning needs with respect toreading. During the morning portion of this camp, students participated in intensive readinginstruction. Two weeks of STEM units and three weeks of art units were offered as a “break”from reading instruction. All of the STEM lessons were designed to be haptic and to promoteconfidence and self-reliance in the students. The quantitative results, which include pre and postcontent assessments, support the effectiveness of the STEM component of the program. Thequalitative results, which include letters of gratitude written by the dyslexic students, support thelevel of enthusiasm that these students had with respect to STEM learning. This paper will shareboth the quantitative and qualitative results and propose future research concerning STEM andthe dyslexic population.
Wright, L. A., & Moskal, B. M. (2014, June), Including Children With Disabilities in STEM: An Outreach Program for Dyslexic Students (Research to Practice) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20618
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015