Experience It Co-Op

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The Experience IT Co-Op is a partnership between the Disability Action Center and the Homestead Farm Center that provides year-round career readiness and enrichment programs.

The three key programs of the Experience IT Co-op include the RURAL Program (Rural to Urban Agricultural Learning), Full STEAM Ahead (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).

The RURAL (Rural to Urban Agricultural Learning) Program emphasizes personal development and job training through a 12-week summer program focusing on gardening, landscaping, animal care, earth science, and greenhouse operation.  The program introduces participants to farming, gardening, environmental stewardship, wellness and nutrition through improved inclusion of fresh farm produce in the diet, and appreciation of the outdoors.

Full STEAM Ahead enrichment programs include classes in robotics, bridge engineering design, rockets and aeronautics, chemistry, weather and climate, magnetism and electricity, energy generation, and other areas encouraging students to explore science, technology, engineering and math by providing unique hands-on education experiences. Our Full STEAM Ahead Programs have been generously funded through the First Energy Foundation, Novelis Corporation, and the Tygart Valley United Way.

Full STEAM Ahead! programs include:
Weather and Solar
Robotics-Abilibots Adult Team and High School After School Program
Bridge Building Challenge
Assistive Technology
Earth Science (Rocks, Soil, Stars)
Math Masters
Gaming, Web, and Video
Engineering Challenge

Creative Arts Programs have significantly increased in recent years, turning STEM education into STEAM education.  These additional programs focus on fun and inclusive creative arts opportunities in the community including exploration in theatre, poetry, wool working, photography, wood projects, graphic arts, and other areas of creative expression.

Creative Arts Programs Include:

Make it Monday (Project Art)
Inspire Choir (Positive Chimes Handbell, Christmas Choir, Ensemble Groups)
Fall Colors Art Project
Paper Making
Lights, Camera, Action (Photography)
Wool Gatherers
Beginning Piano and Voice
Chalk, Paints, and Clay
Candle and Wax



Experience IT classes take place three times weekly both at the DAC facility and off-site at the Homestead Farm Center, providing the diversity of facility based and nature-based learning opportunities. While Experience IT Co-Op programs may vary in location, delivery, or subject matter, the underlying theme is to provide individuals with special needs the experiences and enrichment opportunities that they have lacked due to an assumption that they are incapable of learning and being successful in these fields.

NOTE: Class size for some programs, including Abilibots, Afterschool STEAM, Rockets, Engineering, and Positive Chimes Bell Choir are limited due to technology and equipment needs.  Please contact the DAC to see if you must pre-register.  Participants who pre-register and do not attend the first class will lose their place in the class, as we usually have a waiting list for these offerings.

Experience Co-Op programs are implemented through year-round education, training, and enrichment schedule much like a school, college, or vocational center. This model of programming focuses on adult clients during the September-May “school year” with much focus on Career Readiness, science, technology, health and wellness programs, computer literacy, life skills, and independent living. A revised summer schedule of courses includes all of the aforementioned programs but with greater emphasis on RURAL Summer Program, middle school STEAM activities, and summer Camp CAN-DO to include younger individuals with special needs and their families.

RURAL Programs take place at the Homestead Farm Center and include:

RURAL 12-week Summer Trainee Program
RURAL Apprentice Program
Sow and Grow SUSTAIN
Sow and Grow HOPE

Additional activities at the Homestead Farm Center include:

Volunteer Farm Visits
Farm Day Programs
Saturdays at the Farm

For a full description of Homestead Farm Center Programs please visit: http://homesteadfarmcenter.org/programs-at-hfc.html