Sep 17, 2019
Dr. Ellis Crasnow from the STEM³ Academy joins Amanda and Vickie
on today’s show. STEM³ is a new school in Orange County, developed
by the founders of The Help Group in Los Angeles. STEM stands for
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and is dedicated to
K-12 technology-driven students who are bright and curious, with
social and/or learning differences.
Dr. Crasnow is one of the panelists at the 5th Annual
Fundraising Event, “Building the Bridge Between Literacy and the
Consequences of Falling Behind”, which will be held Thursday,
October 24, 2019. Don’t miss this fascinating conversation!
After earning his Ph.D. in philosophy from USC, Dr. Crasnow
taught widely at the college level, both in the U.S. and South
Africa. He joined The Help Group in 2008, teaching high school
math, science and English before becoming Principal of Village Glen
High School. In 2012, The Help Group began a STEM program that Dr.
Crasnow led. Dr. Crasnow is a frequent international speaker at
conferences on the importance of STEM education and its benefit to
those with social and learning differences. Dr. Crasnow speaks on
the integration of STEM content and social-emotional learning.
- Dr. Crasnow shares how going into Special Education seemed one
way of combining his passion and education in science, teaching,
and psychology, into one.
- Observing that children weren’t really thriving after high
school, they started asking the question, ‘What can we do
differently, K-12, which will improve the outcome post-high
- Playing to students’ strengths and focusing on their assets,
rather than their deficits.
- In Special Education, most people tend to focus on what the
child needs, and what the child can’t do well. That’s putting an
enormous amount of effort into perceived weakness or a perceived
need, while often ignoring their strengths, their passions, and
their interests. This will only make a marginal improvement in a
deficit without really accelerating their strengths.
- Finding out what students’ passions and interests are will draw
them in, and so engage them, that their needs, deficits, and
weaknesses, become relatively unimportant.
- We’re all weak in something.
- Don’t go into a field that is an area of weakness for you.
Develop your strength and your passion, and that can be a
- Kids with special needs, kids on the spectrum, ADHD - whatever
their particular difference is, they nevertheless have
extraordinary gifts and talents.
- Dr. Crasnow discusses the new Netflix documentary, American
Factory, and the number of jobs being lost over
- The struggle of Special Education teachers: underpaid,
isolated, and they’re not being supported.
- Businesses are starting to look at places they haven’t
traditionally looked for skilled workers.
- “Specialisterne” - Dr. Crasnow talks about a Danish company
founded by Thorkil Sonne, a software engineer, whose son is on the
spectrum. While looking to employ software engineers for his
company, he noticed that many of the same qualities he was looking
for, his son possessed. He started the international company,
“Specialisterne”, which means “The Specialists”, and they hire
people on the spectrum, training them to do quality assurance and
software debugging. Those on the spectrum often have superior
visual discrimination, and make outstanding workers.
- There’s a growing, worldwide movement to give a higher profile
to individuals with special needs.
- Dr. Crasnow gives an overview of STEM³. Students will graduate
with a high school diploma and is capable of going to college.
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YOU ARE INVITED!! 5th ANNUAL FUNDRAISING
Building the Bridge Between Literacy and the Consequences of
Thursday, October 24, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Huntington Bay Club
4121 Warner Ave, Huntington Beach, CA
FOR EARLY BIRD TICKETS ($25!!) BY OCTOBER 1st & MORE
Dr. Ellis Crasnow:
The Help Group
American Factory on Netflix