Expanding Options


The First STEM School in the Nation for Students with Special Needs to Host Free Family-Friendly Showcase of Discovery and Technology.

The Help Group’s STEM3 Academy will be hosting its second annual Very Special Innovation Fair – equal parts science fair, high-tech exhibition, art show, and community carnival. The free event will be a family-friendly celebration of talent, imagination and discovery from young STEM enthusiasts, as well as some of the region’s innovative companies. Last year’s event proved to be very successful with 500+ in attendance. STEM3 is the first school in the nation to provide a STEM curriculum to students with special needs.

Inspired in part by the Maker Movement, the event will have specific areas geared toward grade school, middle school, and high school ages and interests. In each area, there will be interactive opportunities for young people and families to build things, get involved in experiments and demonstrations, and take various gadgets for a test drive. The Very Special Innovation Fair will take place Saturday, Nov. 4 at the STEM3 Academy Valley Glen campus in Los Angeles.

The event will allow hundreds of attendees to have a first-person experience in a range of STEM-related fields, including rocketry, robotics, 3-D printing and production, and virtual reality. There will also be food and giveaways.

“We’re focused on developing strategies and fun programming for young people that encourage a passion for STEM,” says Dr. Susan Berman, COO of The Help Group. “Our first Very Special Innovation Fair proved successful. It’s a chance to show the community what is happening in STEM and how our young people can prepare to take these areas to an exciting new level in the future.”


The school is hosting the fair to help people learn about the exciting things happening in STEM and how it is playing an increasing role in fields as diverse as manufacturing, medicine, design and entertainment.

“There is a high demand and need for qualified STEM talent. Our goal at STEM3 Academy and with the Very Special Innovation Fair is to help nurture those natural talents early on,” says Dr. Ellis Crasnow, director of STEM3 Academy and STEM Education at The Help Group says.

STEM3 Academy is the newest school operated by The Help Group, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to serving children, adolescents and young adults with special needs. STEM3 Academy takes the particular strengths of students with social and learning differences and connects them with a STEM curriculum that expands their life options and positions them for lifelong success. The school has three campuses in Los Angeles – two K-12 programs in Valley Glen and Culver City, and a middle school program in Sherman Oaks.

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