American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
Future Reflections Special Issue: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) PROGRAMS
by Kaylee Nielson
From the Editor: Kaylee Nielson is a high school student who served as an apprentice at the STEM2U program in Baltimore, Maryland. In this article she writes about some of the lessons she carried away with her.
Science, technology, engineering, and math are four crucial elements in today's curriculum. For those of us who are visually impaired, it can be very difficult to excel in these fields. The STEM2U program provided me with an opportunity to travel across the country in order to improve my way of learning these STEM subjects.
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the program allowed us to meet others like ourselves who have struggled with learning STEM subjects easily. We did projects such as building towers and building cars from recycled materials. We completed activities that encouraged us to work with others. Besides teaching us these skills in a different way, the program showed us new technology to help us learn better in a classroom setting.
In addition to learning skills to help us in our future schooling and careers, the program also taught me how to work with individuals who have no vision. We applied these skills when we worked with children who were visually impaired. One thing we did was take them to a science museum and do activities with them. We got to be role models for the younger children, people they could look up to.
While the skills we learned will always help us, the experience itself will also be remembered. The friendships we made will always last. Being able to learn from people who have become successful despite their low vision encouraged us to do our best. We can use our knowledge to help others who struggle in the same ways we do.