Current Opportunities

2018 Dandelion STEMLab Programs


**Please note we are no longer taking applications for the STEMLab program. Watch this space for more programs like this**


Specialisterne Australia is very excited to announce that applications for the 2018 STEMLabs Programs are now open. The Dandelion STEMLab Program is currently seeking applications from individuals living in Victoria on the autism spectrum to participate in Specialisterne’s unique 3-week training program which focuses on robotics and technology.

This training opportunity will suit people with an interest in Information Technology, Computer Programming & Problem Solving using Technology

Successful applicants will start by learning and performing key skills around LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits in both individual and small group-based challenges throughout a 3-week program.

What is the STEMLab Program?
The STEMLab Program is a Training and Assessment Program which is based on the very successful Pre-Employment Training and Assessment Program facilitated by Specialisterne, a global leader in providing employment solutions for employers seeking to employ people on the autism spectrum. Approximately 10-15 people will attend each STEMLab Program and will work closely with LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits and participate in a series of individual, group and pairs-based challenges over a 3-week period.

In Week 1, participants will be introduced to their LEGO Mindstorms robot and will be provided with a Laptop to use for the 3-week program. Your trainers will guide you through the basics of robotics and you will then continue to practice and develop your programming skills using the robot. You will tasked with developing a robot innovation and providing a demonstration of your robot at the end of the week.

Now we will start the week by assigning you into small teams (probably group of between 3-5 people maximum). You will be introduced to SCRUM and your team will work together using Scrum to develop a robot innovation based on the challenge your trainers give you at the beginning of the week. You will spend the week designing, building, developing, testing and refining your robot innovation and at the end of the week, you will as a group provide a demonstration of your innovation via a stand-up presentation. We may even have some guest from the IT world come in and view your groups presentation.

This is the final and probably the most fun of the 3-week program. You will now be paired with another participant where you will have the opportunity to:

  • Design and build a new robot innovation
  • Start to document your processes for the functionality of your robot innovation
  • Test functionality of other participants robot innovations (software testing)
  • Apply bugs to other participants robot innovations and fix bugs that have been applied to your own robot innovation

Why is Specialisterne doing this?
Specialisterne has been successful in obtaining funding via the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building initiative under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). With this funding, we can offer our tailored, pre-employment Training and Assessment Program that is globally recognised to a larger number of individuals throughout Victoria on the autism spectrum who are unemployed and who are looking to improve their chances of finding a career in the field of technology and other types of industry.
Where will the STEMLab Program be located?
Melbourne Central Business District

How long does the STEMLab Program go for?

The STEMLab Program is a 15-day program that begins on Monday, February 12th and concludes on Friday, March 2nd 2018. The program runs weekdays only.

How much does the STEMLab Program cost to attend?

The STEMLab Program is free to attend for accepted applicants.

What will I need to bring with me?
You will be required to either bring your lunch or purchase lunch for each day of the program. Lunch will be provided for the group on Friday, 2nd March only (final day of program). As we cannot guarantee that there will be access to a refrigerator, please be mindful that any food will need to be stored in your own bag etc.

Do I have to be available for the whole 3 weeks?
Yes, it is preferable that all accepted participants be available for the entire 3-week program.

What will I get out of the STEMLab Program?
We hope that each participant will be able to gain more insight into some of their skills in an IT context as well as better understand some of their individual needs for the workplace. We aim to also connect with each participants employment service provider (if they have one currently, if not, we will work with these participants and connect them with an appropriate employment service provider) so that they too gain better insight into some of the skills that will be demonstrated throughout the 3-week program. All participants will receive a certificate of attendance as well as a detailed profile report.

The candidate:

  • Must have a diagnosis of ASD
  • Must be aged 15 years or over
  • Must have Australian Citizenship
  • Must be able to attend the entire 3-week Training Program

Some previous experience with skills such as computer programming, data analysis, networking, network security, system administration, or similar IT oriented tasks, this would be highly regarded. Applicants must have a strong interest in learning and performing IT related tasks.

How to apply:

If the above candidate criteria are satisfied then the candidate should apply by following these steps:

Step 1:

Send an application email to Nick Giustino, STEMLabs Program Coordinator In your email, please briefly outline why you would like to be considered for a place in the STEMLab Program.

Step 2:

After emailing Nick, you will receive a return email with a link to an online survey. Upon completion of the survey, the application process will have been finalised.

Following the completion of these steps the applicant will expect to:

  • By 5pm on Friday, February 9th be informed whether his/her application has been accepted and a place in the STEMLabs Program confirmed or that their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion. (please note: the STEMLabs Program is limited to a maximum of 15 places only, any applicants who are not successful in obtaining a place in the first STEMLab are encouraged to apply and will be given preference for a place in other STEMLab Programs that will be held later in the year).

Applications should therefore be submitted by Friday, February 9th at the latest!

Important Information:

The 3-weeks STEMLab Program is planned to start Monday, February 12th and to end Friday 2nd March 2018.

Key Actions Date
Applications open Monday, 29th January 2018
Applications close Friday, 9th February 2018
Notification of acceptance to 3-week STEMLabs Program Friday, 9th February 2018
Start of 3-week STEMLabs Program Monday, 12th February 2018
End of 3-week STEMLabs Program Friday 2nd March



For more information, please contact Nick Giustino on 0412 402 574 or at

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