"Hands On" Experiences for Exploration of the Life Sciences by Elementary Level Students
Judith Tamburlin Principal Investigator
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This project will create a set of 100-200 haptic diagrams in the area of life science for use by blind, visually impaired, learning disabled, and at risk students, grades 3-7. These raised line diagrams will utilize differing textures and brailled labels along with auditory tapes, brailled text, and ink print text to provide further information about the content of the diagram. Teachers will be able to select from the available materials to respond to the learning modalities of students found in a mainstreamed classroom. Supplemental print materials for the teacher will provide follow-up activities that are designed to engage print-disabled students in hands-on, inquiry learning. These materials are intended for use in cooperative learning settings in the regular education classroom to decrease the isolation of disabled students and increase their interest and participation in science. The topics for the diagrams will be selected for their compatibility with the most commonly used science textbooks and with the overarching themes of Science For All Americans. Topics will include earth science, biology, ecology, and human biology. The materials will be field tested over two years in California, Texas, New York, and Kentucky. Dissemination will occur through the National Science Teachers Association, the "Special Net" system of the United States Resource Centers and Clearinghouses, and presentations made at national conferences for science teachers and teachers of blind and visually impaired students.