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Simon Technology Center Overview

Assistive technology can be a device or service that helps children with disabilities participate more independently within their environment at home or school.

The Simon Technology Center (STC) is dedicated to making the benefits of technology more accessible to children and adults with disabilities. Through a collaborated effort involving parents, professionals, and consumers, the STC can provide numerous services for your family, as well as resources and informative answers to your questions. Since 1987, the Simon Technology Center has helped many children and adults, with a variety of disabilities, use assistive technology to enhance learning, work and independence.


Services

The Simon Technology Center provides a variety of core services to help children, families, and professionals including:

Projects

The Simon Technology Center also operates several projects with specific focuses such as:

New in the STC LibraryVGo Robot

PACER’s Simon Technology Center is thrilled to add some new, cutting edge technology.

  • VGo Robot
  • UbiDuo Wireless Face to Face Communicato
  • Tobii Eye Mobile.

Check Them Out!

Featured Services and Projects

  • The STC Lending Library has launched a new modern online catalog of items!

    With more than 1,900 items, the Lending Library lets you try out and borrow some of the newest educational and disability-specific software and devices on the market including:

    • Text-to-speech software for reading accessibility
    • Speech-to-text software for improved written communication
    • Universally designed toys for playtime accessibility and inclusion
    • Communication devices for communication freedom
    • Computer access adaptations for independence
    • Talking calculators for improved independence with math

    The Simon Technology Center Lending Library allows you to try assistive technology before making a purchase decision and is open to Minnesota residents.  Families, educators, and consumers who become library members benefit from personalized assistance, convenient hours and services.  As a member, you can:

    • Receive personal assistance in selecting and checking out materials.
    • Try out devices and software.
    • Reserve, check-out, or renew items online, by phone, email or in person.
    • Schedule quick pick-up during regular business hours or library open hours.
    • Have items mailed to you for free if you live in Greater Minnesota.

    Become a member today.

Upcoming STC Workshops & Events

  • Social Media & Bullying: Using Technology to Keep Kids Safe

    Date: Monday, March 06, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm
    PACER’s Simon Technology Center (STC) and National Bullying Prevention Center (NBPC) will discuss the technology young people use, and the technology parents can use to keep them safe and raise responsible young digital citizens.
  • Technology for Girls: Become an Inventor

    Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-10:30am
    Middle school girls with disabilities will become inventors in this Tech for Girls workshop! Eagan’s Green Girls Robotics team will teach participants about engineering and circuits. Participants will use a Little Bits kit to invent a motorized art machine. Join us for this workshop and see what’s possible with a “little bit” of engineering!
  • Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop: Introduction to Coding

    Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    This three-hour hands-on workshop will introduce teens (boys and girls) with disabilities to the fundamentals of coding through the use of MIT’s Scratch online software. Teens will create interactive games and stories while developing the skills for programming events, loops, if statements, user interfaces, and more. This workshop is designed for students with basic computer skills, but no previous coding knowledge is required. Students of all abilities are encouraged to attend. Snacks will be provided.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
    Students are invited to practice the coding skills they developed in the Tech for Teens Intro to Coding workshop on March 25. They can expand new levels of their games, write sequels to their interactive stories, or code something completely new.
  • Technology for Girls: A Digital Game of Simon Says

    Date: Saturday, April 08, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-10:30am
    Middle school girls with disabilities are invited to join mentors from the University of Minnesota’s MnDrive program to see how fun programming can be. Learn how to program lights, buzzers, and more following instructions based on code you write! No experience necessary.

  • Live Stream Event Availible

    'Appy Hour': Apps for Pre-Academic Skills

    Date: Monday, April 17, 2017
    Time: 11:00am-12:00pm
    Staff from the Simon Technology Center explore the latest apps that support the development of fine motor skills, literacy, math skills, and more for young children. Tell us about your favorite app at stc@pacer.org and we’ll demonstrate it during the event.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop: Web Coding

    Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    This three-hour hands-on workshop will introduce teens (boys and girls) with disabilities to the basics of coding for the internet with HTML and CSS. Students will create a website and publish it on the Internet as a way to learn about HTML tags, style sheets, and the basics of web hosting. Using Mozilla Thimble, students will get to experiment with code and see the results in real time. Students will then learn about web hosting by publishing their sites online. Snacks will be provided.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
    Students are invited to practice the coding skills they developed in the Tech for Teens workshop series (Introduction to Coding and Web Coding). They can expand new levels of their games, write sequels to their interactive stories, continue to develop a website, or code something completely new.
  • Tech for Teens: Science or Science Fiction? A Star Wars 3D Printed Universe

    Date: Saturday, May 20, 2017
    Time: 10:00am-11:30am
    Teens with disabilities learn from a professional – in full Star Wars costume – the science behind science fiction. Teens learn about 3D printing technology and walk through the engineering and design process in a hands-on simulated activity.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
    Students are invited to practice the coding skills they developed in the Tech for Teens workshop series (Introduction to Coding and Web Coding). They can expand new levels of their games, write sequels to their interactive stories, continue to develop a website, or code something completely new.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop: Programming Robots (Robots 1)

    Date: Saturday, June 24, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    In this three-hour hand-on workshop, teens (boys and girls) with disabilities will learn some of the fundamentals of robotics by programming a Finch robot to interact and respond to its environment. Students will expand upon the topics from Intro to Coding as they use Scratch, an online software tool, to program a Finch robot to move and react to obstacles. As a final challenge, students will work as a team to program a robot to see which one can navigate through a maze the fastest. Snacks will be provided.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Thursday, June 29, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
    Students are invited to practice the coding skills they developed in the Tech for Teens workshop series (Introduction to Coding, Web Coding, and Robotics). They can expand new levels of their games, write sequels to their interactive stories, continue to develop a website, practice coding Finch Robots, or code something completely new.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop: Building a Robot (Robots 2)

    Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    In this three-hour hands-on workshop, teens (boys and girls) with disabilities will assemble a robot and program it to respond to the environment. Using the EZ-Robot kits, students will expand on their knowledge from the Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop Robots 1 in order to build a robot that can distinguish between different objects and interact with its surroundings. Snacks will be provided.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Saturday, August 05, 2017
    Time: 10:00am-12:00pm
    Students are invited to practice their coding and robot building skills from any of the previously attended workshops. Work with instructors to practice coding games, websites, Finch Robots, or build another EZ-robot from scratch. Snacks will be provided.

The Simon Technology and its projects are generously sponsored by private donations and the following foundations: 3M, Boston Scientific, Donaldson Foundation, Ecolab, Fred C. & Katherine B. Andersen Foundation, Grotto  Foundation, IBM, Medtronic, Minneapolis Rotary Community Service Foundation, The Minneapolis Foundation, Schulze Family Foundation, Verizon, and  Xcel Energy. In kind support provided by Accenture and Target.

 

Visit PACER's other sites: Teens Against Bullying | Kids Against Bullying | FAST Family Support | FAPE | MN SEACs

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