Acellus STEM

Smiling girl on STEM Pod; robot visible.

STEM-10: A Cohesive 10-Year Initiative
Connecting Students to STEM Careers

Acellus STEM-10 is a major initiative engineered to significantly increase the number of students prepared for hightech careers right out of high school. STEM-10 is a cohesive 10-year program starting in elementary school. The first 7 years of the program focus on STEM instruction, starting with coding in the 3rd grade and adding complexity each year. In the 10th grade, students branch into a specific STEM pathway that matches their interest.

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Direct, Self-Contained Instruction

The Acellus coding instruction is self-contained and delivered right through the Acellus system, enabling schools to implement STEM-10 in classrooms where a STEM-trained teacher is not available. The coding courseware is video-based, and adaptive to the students individual needs, allowing schools to personalize the STEM instruction to the level and skill set of each learner.

STEM-1: Introduction to Coding

In the first year of STEM-10, students take lessons starting from square zero and then advance step-by-step through the fundamentals of coding. In the first half of the year, the course builds a baseline understanding of the concepts needed to learn coding.

In the second half of the year, the students are introduced to Cellus Bot, a teaching robot which is equipped with lights, motor, and sensors, all of which are controlled by block coding modules included as part of the course. As an additional touch, the Bot sports a laser which draws shapes and circles as the robot dances. The built-in accelerometer supports program-controlled responses to movements and positioning of the Bot. Students first learn how to control the robot in the most simplistic manner, but the lessons develop in complexity as the course progresses.

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STEM-2: JavaScript

In the second year of STEM-10, students are introduced to a sophisticated new dancing robot called AC-D2. Equipped with snazzy lights, ultrasound sensors, and multiple motors, AC-D2 comes ready to move. It can sway, twist, and dance around with approximately 10,000 possible step combinations giving it great style on the dance floor.

Students learn to program this more advanced robot through the Level 2 Acellus coding course, which teaches students the syntax needed to program in JavaScript. This allows students to engage in serious coding tasks that will control the robot's personality and movements.

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STEM-3: Electronics & Coding

Electronics is one of the foundational technologies enabling our modern world. This course shows how electricity is used to make computers and robotics possible. Students will learn about concepts like voltage, current, resistance, and capacitance. They will also continue to practice JavaScript skills they learned in the previous STEM course. Studies will culminate in combining the electronics and coding concepts in ways that show how they are used together in the real world.

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Acellus STEM Robotics Lab

A Learning Environment Designed to Spark Creativity

The Acellus STEM Robotics Lab creates an environment tuned to give students a discover-and-create learning experience. Rather than only working through a simulated environment, Acellus STEM Labs provide students with an actual robot to program.

The specially designed STEM Learning pods include all the tools students need to be creative and productive. Each pod seats three students and includes touchscreen laptop computers, programmable robots, active learning stools, a whiteboard tabletop, and dry erase markers.

The Acellus STEM Lab utilizes cognitive instruction, a method of instruction that achieves student learning through the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

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Acellus STEM for Special Education

A focus of the International Academy of Science is to help schools deploy Acellus STEM Robotic Labs and STEM curriculum for their learners with special needs. Studies show that a higher percentage of students classified with special needs transition into STEM related careers, when compared to other students. Integrating Acellus STEM Robotics Labs into the special education environment allows educators to prepare classified students to be college-ready, and equipped for a successful career.

A Perfect Fit for Students with Autism

The Acellus STEM Robotics Lab is optimized to cater to exceptional learners, especially those classified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A recent study of students with ASD who attend college, found that 34% choose a STEM-related career – as opposed to only 20% of their college peers. This, coupled with estimates that the number of STEM related jobs could reach 8.6 million by 2018, magnifies the importance of preparing students with special needs to transition into college/careers propelling them toward success in STEM related fields.

“In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, scientists found that students diagnosed with autism had the highest STEM participation rates. By examining 11,000 students nationwide, they found that young adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder chose STEM majors in college more often than their peers in the general population – 34 percent versus less than 23 percent.”

Preparing Students with Special Needs to Transition into High-Demand STEM Careers

Not only do students with special needs gravitate towards STEM careers, but the career opportunities in STEM fields, such as computer science, have exploded over the past few years, and it is anticipated that the demand will only grow over the next decade.

“Eye-opening statistics about career readiness are seemingly everywhere these days, and nowhere is that more apparent than when it comes to the future of STEM, where jobs are rapidly growing – up 17 percent from 2014 to 2024 by one estimate – and could reach 8.6 million by 2018. In that light, the scramble to provide students with hard skills, like robotics and coding, coupled with related soft skills, such as critical thinking and collaboration, seems only natural.”

— eSchool News article by Stephen Noonoo – September 3rd, 2015

eSchool News

5 Reasons to Integrate STEM into Online Learning

by Dr. Roger Billings,
Acellus Chairman
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