UH STEMD² Researchers Partnering with BizGym to Help Students with Special Learning Needs.  

UH STEMD² Researchers Partnering with BizGym to Help Students with Special Learning Needs

Professor Kaveh Abhari

UH STEMD² Researchers Partnering with BizGym to Help Students with Special Learning Needs.  Mahalo to from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Center on Disability Studies for partnering with our BizGym Foundation. Together, we’re helping students become successful entrepreneurs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.

Professor Abhari and his STEMD² team focus on students who are underrepresented in STEM degree programs and professional careers, including marginalized learners and individuals with special learning needs.

Transforming STEM Education for Students with Special Learning Needs

The UH team’s research and development efforts seek to transform STEM education so these underrepresented students perform better at school and eventually thrive in their careers. This greatly benefits the students, of course, while boosting our local, state and national economies.

One strategy for assisting underrepresented students is encouraging them to gain entrepreneurial skills through real-world experiences. That’s where the nonprofit BizGym Foundation comes in.

Lemonade Alley Kid-Biz Challenge Cultivates ‘Soft Skills’

Our best-known program is the Lemonade Alley kid-biz challenge, in which teams of students create one-day businesses. By concocting lemon drinks, building stands and developing marketing plans, these students often get their first taste of entrepreneurism. And they love it!

This friendly contest cultivates invaluable “soft skills” such as teamwork, communication and resourcefulness. And in the process, students gain an appreciation for the importance of philanthropy and community involvement. That’s because these budding entrepreneurs donate all profits from lemonade sales to their favorite charities.

Upcoming BizzyB Online Program Fosters Project-Based Learning

Another BizGym Foundation program that ignites the entrepreneurial spirit is BizzyB, a cloud-based learning platform that makes business fun. Scheduled for alpha launch in July 2017, BizzyB offers an extensive library of business adventures, such as how to market crafts or stage a theatrical production.

Once an adventure is selected, the online program guides students every step of the way. Mentors also provide direction by offering expert advice via computers and smart phones.

Just like Dr. Abhari and his STEMD² colleagues, the BizGym Foundation staff and volunteers recognize that education must embrace the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century so all students can succeed. And that will certainly involve greater use of project-based learning initiatives like Lemonade Alley and BizzyB.

You can learn more about Dr. Abhari’s fine work at stemd2.org.