Washington MESA's mission is to assist "underrepresented students in Washington State achieve their full potential and contribute in the fields of mathematics, engineering, and science". MESA—which stands for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement—is a network of state-level programs with similar goals.
The Kindergarten Bridge program in the Mount Vernon School District serves children of kindergarten-age, providing them with opportunities to learn the academic and social skills necessary to be successful in school. Each child in the program has an individualized education plan (IEP) with goals and objectives developed to meet their needs.
Georgia Boatman, a teacher at Southgate Elementary School in Kennewick, Washington, wanted to increase student participation in her classroom, particularly that of students with disabilities. In collaboration with DO-IT's AccessSTEM project, she acquired an interactive learning tool the Classroom Performance System (CPS) using funds from an AccessSTEM minigrant.
According to the Digest of Educational Statistics students with disabilities are spending increasing lengths of time in general classes in regular classrooms. In fall 2018 it was reported that 64% of students with disabilities spent a majority (defined as at least 80%) of their day in a regular classroom.
Kelly Kerr is a teacher of students with visual impairments in the Central Kitsap School District located in Silverdale, Washington. Ms. Kerr wrote a proposal for an AccessSTEM minigrant to support students with visual impairments who are underrepresented in careers in math and science. In her proposal she emphasized that students often fail to pursue math and science because of the lack of accessible curriculum, labs, and manipulatives in these courses. Ms.
Yes. Here are a few examples:
Pete Darragh, a sixth grade teacher at Sidney Glen Elementary School in Port Orchard, Washington, was awarded an AccessSTEM minigrant to integrate a large interactive white board, called a Smart Board, and speakers into his teaching. Mr. Darragh says he applied for the grant as a way to add technology that would "hook" more of his students into learning, including those with learning challenges that result from disabilities.
Many students have difficulty seeing the connections between the separate and distinct subjects presented in school. Students at all ability levels often ask, "Well, what does this have to do with that?" They wonder what the purposes of certain lessons or even entire subjects are. When students also struggle with a learning disability, which can make communication and comprehension even more challenging, it is no wonder they often disengage from the classroom.