Who We are
Sliding Doors STEM and Dyslexia (SDSquared) is leading a movement to develop future STEM leaders by building confidence in students with dyslexia and equipping educators to help them learn.
Lead the Way: We are changing the conversation about dyslexia education. By combining evidence-based language instruction with STEM enrichment, we set the standard for how students with dyslexia should be educated and inspired.
Empower Kids and Parents: We are developing the next generation of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and business leaders. By building confidence in students with dyslexia, we change lives and impact individuals, families, and communities.
Help as Many Kids as Possible: We believe everyone should have access to an appropriate education and the opportunity to realize their full potential. Our methodology is scalable, repeatable, and accessible to anyone who needs it.
After School Program
Our program at St. Bernadette Catholic School in Springfield meets on Mondays and Wednesdays after school for 90 minutes.
The session is split into two 45 minutes blocks. Students receive specialized one on one tutoring. Our tutors are teachers, education students, and retired professionals looking to gain knowledge in how to tutor children with dyslexia and are supervised and trained by our Dyslexic Specialist, Joyce Maryanopolis.
The remaining time is dedicated to STEM exploration. Our curriculum includes both short and long term projects and take place both in and out of the classroom and are facilitated by our director, tutors and volunteers. We are developing hands-on science kits that the students can use to explore micro-biology and biology, chemistry, robotics, genetics, and so much more. In addition, we will create long-term projects that turn our students into Community Science Experts. With the guidance of our tutors and volunteers, our students will take the lead in developing a project that uses STEM skills to help their local community.
In addition to meeting twice a week, we also have Science Saturdays once a month. During these Science Saturdays, students are paired with an adult mentor who works in a STEM field and they participate in field trips to local museums, science centers, and nature centers, work on their long-term projects, or hear a speaker who has dyslexia and is now succeeding in a STEM field.
These Science Saturdays also give us the unique opportunity to create a strong network of parents. While their student is participating in a STEM activity, parents can participate in workshops, receive advice in advocacy, and listen to speakers that can help them understand how to best help their child. This network of support is further enhanced by SDSquared’s presence on social media where we share articles, tips, advice from experts and even STEM experiments and activities they can do at home.
Last year, our Science Saturdays included a tour of the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum conducted by aerospace engineer, Dr. Patrick Biltgen, a visit to Heeling House to do some STEM activities with their therapy dogs, exploring the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and a day experimenting with catapults with aerospace engineer Dr. Janel Nixon. We have some exciting events already planned for this year! Stay tuned for pictures and updates.