Spectrum STEAM

All children, regardless of ability, deserve to be exposed to the sciences and the arts in a simultaneously fun and educational manner. As a first step towards turning this idea into reality, Anj Droe, working with the Iowa City Autism Community and the University of Iowa Spectrum Project as well as the Latham Science Engagement Initiative, is starting a new program to bring S.T.E.A.M. to children with autism. The program, Spectrum S.T.E.A.M., will be meeting one weekend a month. Each day the kids, parents, and volunteers will explore different topics in S.T.E.M., such as astronomy, engineering, and meteorology, through different forms of art such as visual art, music, and dance. Hopefully, Spectrum S.T.E.A.M. will become an annual program, ideally meeting every few weeks for one semester per year. Anj’s overall goal for the project is to show children with differing abilities that they are just as able to get involved in the sciences and arts as so-called able-bodied or neurotypical children and encourage them to explore S.T.E.A.M. 

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Author Bio(s): 
Anj has worked in Dr. Michael Dailey’s neurobiology lab since freshman year. He and the other members of his lab study glial cells (the “other” cells of the brain), in particular microglia and their role in brain injury and recovery. Currently Anj is working on a project using microparticles in an attempt to reduce the harmful inflammatory effects of microglia. In addition to his neurobiology and microbiology majors, Anj is working on a minor in German and a certificate in clinical and translational sciences. Outside of school he is very involved with music, playing viola in the symphony orchestra and a quartet, as well as playing guitar for cancer patients at the hospital.
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