Events Calendar

Let's Talk Education Community Speaker - Neil & Puvirajah

Thursday, March 4, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online via OWL

Link to presentation:

The Faculty of Education is pleased to present a complimentary speaker series open to the general public to share research being conducted and facilitate discussion around important topics in education.

STEM, Social Skills, and Students with Developmental Disabilities

Dr. Nicole Neil and Dr. Anton Puvirajah

Thursday, March 4, 2021 from 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Talk summary
Students with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, experience barriers to participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), both inside and outside school. Afterschool STEM programs have been used to encourage students from other underrepresented groups to participate in STEM. Our interdisciplinary team recently developed a STEM and Social Skills (S3) program informed by these approaches to meet the needs of students with developmental disabilities. This talk will cover the development of the program highlighting evidence-based approaches to informal STEM education, social skills intervention for people with developmental disabilities, and how we can develop STEM and social skills through relevant, engaging, and authentic learning experiences. We will present strategies from the program that can be implemented by parents, teachers, and practitioners.

Speaker Biographies

Nicole Neil, PhD, BCBA-D
Nicole Neil is currently Assistant Professor and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She is coordinator of the Master’s in Professional Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Nicole has been working with people with Down syndrome, autism, and developmental disabilities for over 10 years in both a research and clinical capacity. Her areas of expertise include interventions for improving social interaction and communication, treating obsessive compulsive behaviour, and improving relationships between children with developmental disabilities and their siblings.
Anton Puvirajah, PhD
Anton Puvirajah, a former high-school teacher, is an Assistant Professor of STEM education in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Anton’s research work involves examining systems of oppression that minoritized students face in learning STEM. He has an active research program that focuses on studying the STEM experiences of minoritized and underserved youth in informal spaces. Additionally, Anton’s research focuses on using novice teachers’ reflection of their practice to examine their professional identity development.


This talk will be presented online using Collaborate Ultra.

Livestream link:

The talk will begin with some welcoming and introductory remarks, and then Dr. Neil & Dr. Puvirajah will then deliver their presentation. Participants will be able to follow along with the slides, and will hear and see the presenters in a video window. Audience members can ask questions using the chat function.

Jen Heidenheim
Event Type:

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