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It’s a STEAMing hot summer

The STEAM summer program at Village Glen is in full swing, and in a rich tradition of supporting the arts we have many classes which allow students’ creative spirits full reign. Music performance and production has gathered an ensemble of performers and instruments, from the accordion to the xylophone. They wrote their own score rehearsed and recorded it—students then mastered the recording, and burned it to a CD. In 3D modeling, students worked with a variety of software: Tinkercad, Sketch Up, and Blender among them, and developed prototypes and models which they then printed on the school’s 3D printer. Their work couldn’t be timelier! A Salt Lake City company has established a pilot program to train students on the spectrum for careers in digital arts. They are having the students use Google’s Sketch Up and they note, what we have long emphasized, that students on the spectrum bring a very unique set of skills to the marketplace, a very valuable set of skills indeed. The students they report on are exactly similar to our own in that they are high functioning and often have already developed interests in some aspect of technology. They are often able to focus clearly on one subject—they don’t do well if presented with multiple directives at once—and many of them think visually and spatially. The promise for such students to have a meaningful career is supported both by the deep need for workers trained with such technological skills, and by their own drive, enthusiasm, and giftedness for the work. It’s a win-win situation, and one that should not and cannot be ignored.

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