1. Stacey Forsyth
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/stacey-forsyth-8595b99/
  3. Director, CU Science Discovery
  4. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  5. https://www.colorado.edu/project/bbb/
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Bridget Dalton
  2. http://www.colorado.edu/education/bridget-dalton
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  5. https://www.colorado.edu/project/bbb/
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Kathryn Penzkover
  2. Assistant Director, CU Science Discovery
  3. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  4. https://www.colorado.edu/project/bbb/
  5. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Ben Walsh
  2. http://thisisaproject.org
  3. Graduate Research Assistant
  4. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  5. https://www.colorado.edu/project/bbb/
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Tom Yeh
  2. http://tomyeh.info
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  5. https://www.colorado.edu/project/bbb/
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 07:05 a.m.

    What a great idea!  I love when people frame design and STEM learning in the context of problem solving for people in their community.  You mention your curriculum, and PD for librarians and teachers — what is the growing edge right now for you?  That is, do you have confidence in the curriculum, so the next step is finding ways to help more teachers and librarians feel ready to employ/implement it?  What are some of the key learning challenges for teachers and librarians?   

       I look forward to the discussion of this project!

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Lorna Quandt
    Stacey Forsyth
  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 02:49 p.m.

    HI Brian,

    I'm a member of the Build a Better Book  (BBB) Team. One of the growing edges for us is to learn from the wide ranging contexts and participants that we have been collaborating with  over the last three years so that we can refine our BBB workshop framework and modules so that the core principles and practices are available, as well as more specialized enactments.  Our hope is that BBB is both robust and flexible, so that folks can customize to fit their goals and setting. In addition to our collaboration with librarians, we have also been working with a museum maker space, a university outreach program with engineering and pre-service education students, and with bilingual high school students in a STEM high school, among others.  We are learning so much from these collaborations and will be writing up some of our findings over the next few months.

    Would love to hear more from others doing these kind of inclusive design projects!

    Best,

    Bridget 

     

  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director of CSR at TERC
    May 13, 2019 | 04:43 p.m.

    Really enjoyed learning about this project where participants solve real problems of blind/low vision students. 

    If you are interested in interacting with other projects addressing the needs of the blind/low vision visit

    https://stemforall2019.videohall.com/presentati... and

    https://stemforall2019.videohall.com/presentati...

  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 08:26 p.m.

    Thanks so much, Joni, for suggesting these other videos! It's great to see how other projects are tackling these challenges.

  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 06:45 p.m.

    Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Build a Better Book project! Build a Better Book serves to connect youth Makers working in library and community Makerspaces with the real-world need for more inclusive, multi-modal learning materials. Through workshops, summer camps and design internships, teens develop technology skills as they design and fabricate books, games and STEM learning materials with tactile and audio features. This past spring, due to widespread interest in the program, we invited a cohort of 35 librarians and other educators to participate in a two-day professional development workshop. Our video highlights this PD experience and offers a glimpse of how these educators have been bringing the Build a Better Book project back to their communities.

    We are very interested in hearing from others working in Makerspace settings, and from those interested in working with youth who are blind or low vision. We're also very interested in hearing about projects that have successfully scaled up their initiatives.

    Thanks for visiting. We're looking forward to the discussion!

  • Icon for: Ginger Fitzhugh

    Ginger Fitzhugh

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 06:07 p.m.

    Very interesting and innovative! I'm curious why you choose to place your project in libraries. Could you say more about that?

    Also, have you connected with STAR Net, an effort to bring STEM experiences to public libraries around the country. (Full disclosure, I have worked with the STAR Net team for several years to evaluate some of their projects.)

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Brooks Mitchell
  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 08:47 p.m.

    Hi Ginger,

    Great questions! When we were initially deciding where we wanted to focus our programming for this project, I think several factors influenced our decision to work with libraries. We wanted to work in an informal setting, both for the flexibility provided by informal spaces, as well as the ability to assess whether the purpose of Build a Better Book provides a sufficient hook for teens to 'opt in' to (and persist in!) a Maker/tech experience. As a STEM education outreach organization, we (CU Science Discovery) had also heard from multiple librarians who had acquired 3D printers - but weren't sure how to use them effectively in a Makerspace. I had recently participated in STARNet's Libraries and STEM Conference and had connected with numerous librarians who were excited about bringing more STEM programming to their libraries but weren't sure where to start or how to support the programming. And because books, stories and access to information are at the heart of this project, it seemed like libraries were an excellent fit for the project. Plus, as most of us know, librarians are pretty awesome and we love to work with them!  : )

    The project has recently expanded a bit, by inviting community teams of two collaborating individuals (e.g., 2 librarians in a region, or an educator-librarian team, etc.) to participate. We're excited to see how the project unfolds in this new mix of formal and informal learning environments.

    And yes - STAR Net is an amazing resource for those interested in connecting with librarians! They have helped spread the word about our project through their e-newsletter, and helped us recruit an amazing cohort of librarians this past year!

  • May 15, 2019 | 04:41 p.m.

    Thanks, Ginger - I just watched this video and was coming to comment and say that we should connect. It looks like we have already! 

    Stacey - your project (and video) looks fantastic! It's always great to see other institutions in the STEM community (and in Boulder) partnering with the library community. It sounds like you've likely worked with my colleagues Keliann LaConte and/or Paul Dusenbery in the past; I also noticed a few familiar library staff faces in your video. Would love to chat sometime about your work in the library field!  

  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 07:27 p.m.

    Hi Brooks-

    Thanks for your comment. And yes - we've worked with both Keliann and Paul, so it'd be great to connect sometime! Are you based here in Boulder? Let me know if you'd like to swing by sometime during our summer camp season - we can check out some of the programs in action, and talk more about libraries!

     

  • Icon for: Victor van den Bergh

    Victor van den Bergh

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 07:52 p.m.

    To start, I really like the name of your program.  "Build a Better Book" certainly raised my curiosity.  Once I saw your program involved making games as well as other learning materials (in addition to books), I wondered: did this program start as focused on building books, only, and gradually evolve into other kinds of materials?  How did that transition happen?

    I also want to say that it was encouraging to see a positive impact on participants' belief that engineering and technology can be used to help others.  It strikes me that this particular outcome is not frequently measured in STEM program evaluations - maybe because it's not as central to the program as it is in yours - but perhaps it should be!

  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 12:30 a.m.

    Thanks for your comments, Victor! And yes, the program was initially focused on books. Build a Better Book grew out of an earlier project started by our partner Tom Yeh, called the Tactile Picture Books Project, which aimed to create 3D-printed tactile picture books for children who are blind or low vision. Although we still work on designing picture books with 3D-printed elements, we realized fairly early on that we needed to expand our ideas about what a 'book' could be. (Tactile books with multiple 3D printed pages get very unwieldy very fast!) We also broadened the scope of the project to incorporate a variety of different Maker tools, including those that allowed us to add audio (e.g., Makey Makey, Bare boards, SpecDrums rings, etc.). Along with opening up a whole new world of possibility for what these projects could be, this has also helped make the project more accessible for different organizations (ie, there is no one maker tool or technology you need in your Makerspace to participate in a meaningful way). Some of the most effective projects have been designed with simple, low-tech materials (Wikki Stix, fabrics, etc.).

    The shift to include games came from two directions, right around the same time. A teen participant in a summer program decided to create an original board game with tactile and audio features to share information about a local creek environment. It was an impressive project that helped us realize the potential of games to both engage teens in making and to communicate a lot of valuable information in an interactive way. Around the same time, we held a focus group/Makerspace workshop with families who had children/teens who were blind/low vision. They expressed a lot of interest in having more games that they could play together, and we found that teens were drawn to this challenge of making more accessible games.

  • Icon for: Ginger Fitzhugh

    Ginger Fitzhugh

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 08:54 p.m.

    Stacey -- Glad to hear that you have multiple connections to STAR Net and that they have helped promote your work. I totally agree about librarians being fabulous to work with!

  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2019 | 01:44 p.m.

    Hi Stacey - just a note to say that we saw your video last year and we were really moved. One of the makers in the UTeach Maker program used some of your work as inspiration for a maker-centered lesson on viruses and bacteria. You can see it at:https://makermaisha.wordpress.com/maker-education/

    The UTeach program is in the process of expanding the UTeach Maker Initiative to 22 additional UTeach sites. We should get our networks together!!! Love the work you are doing! 

  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 02:53 p.m.

    Wow, Shelly - thanks so much for sharing this! We had no idea that one of your participants had developed a program inspired by BBB - that's exciting to hear! They definitely took on an ambitious project - including having the kids create original stories related to viruses and bacteria, and then develop multimodal elements. It's great to see how they integrated BBB into a science lesson!

    My organization (CU Science Discovery) has worked a lot with our CU Boulder UTeach program - we've had many UTeach students participate as Instructors and Teaching Assistants in our summer camp program over the years. I hadn't realized, though, that there was a new UTeach Maker program - that's exciting! We should definitely brainstorm and think about how we might connect our networks - seems like there is a lot of potential there!

  • Icon for: Momo Hayakawa

    Momo Hayakawa

    Researcher
    May 15, 2019 | 01:56 p.m.

    What a great project! In all of the resources we develop- our television show, digital and analog games, and hands on activities, we're conscientious about accessibility and using a UDL approach to development. The books are such a great way to address diverse children and their abilities. I can see how these books can also support English Language Learners and young children - not just low vision/blind students. Really interesting idea!

  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 02:55 p.m.

    Dear Momo,

    Thanks for your comment.  It's interesting to see how youth take up this notion of universal design in their projects. Their initial motivation is to design a book or game that is accessible to children with visual impairments, but as they work and prototype their designs, they become more aware of general issues of access to books, and what counts as a book.  I love this aspect of the work -- developing an appreciation for human diversity and learning how to design with a broad range of users in mind.

    Best,

    Bridget

  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 03:04 p.m.

    Thanks for the note, Momo - I loved seeing your video, too - what a cool project!

    And yes, we've heard from many people interested in using the books not just with blind/low vision students, but with ELL students, students with autism, or students with other learning or physical challenges, etc. In fact, this year we partnered with the Technology Student Association so that students developing books for the TSA Children's Stories event created original books, each designed for a child with a disability.

    We've also had a good experience involving ELL students as Makers. Many of the ELL students who have participated as Makers have designed bilingual books and/or games featuring English, Spanish and Braille that they have then shared with younger students in their schools or libraries.

  • Icon for: Joan Freese

    Joan Freese

    Executive Producer, Ready To Learn
    May 20, 2019 | 09:58 a.m.

    Hi, Stacey and colleagues--

    Super interesting work! I am a colleague of Momo's at Twin Cities PBS. We have a great resource here in the Twin Cites -- The Pacer Center (https://www.pacer.org/). I took a book modification class there that was focussed on adapting books in a variety of ways, but primarily for kids with sensory differences. It was a low-tech version of what you all are doing with a slightly different audience, although low vision kids would have enjoyed the book mods we did in the workshop.

    If you are interested, I'm happy to connect you with Pacer staff. They run something called the Simon Technology Center (https://www.pacer.org/stc/), which is a lending library of assistive technology. Their staff knows a ton about assistive technologies. Pacer also runs a STEM summer camp and year-round Saturday technology program for middle school girls with disabilities. I'm the PI of a project called SciGirls Code (https://stemforall2018.videohall.com/presentations/1105). We partnered with Pacer to do a series of robotics workshops with their middle school tech club. They were awesome partners. Check them out! 

    Good luck with the rest of your project. I hope you can scale to other libraries. It makes so much sense to have kids learn with meaningful projects. And your approach helps them see that STEM really can make a difference and they can be a part of it. 

  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 10:53 a.m.

    Hi Joan,

    Thanks so much for offering to connect us with the Pacer staff -- I looked at their website (a terrific resource, as you mention). Given our shared interests, it would be great to connect.

    I also watched your project video - what a wonderful project!  I know you are in the midst of data analysis and have preliminary findings at this point.  Our team will be very interested in your findings, once they are finalized.  We're also working on finalizing data analysis and writing, and would be happy to share with your team, as well.

    Thanks again for reaching out!

    Bridget

  • Icon for: William Swift

    William Swift

    Coordinating Producer. PBS NewsHour STEM and Health Student Reporting Labs
    May 20, 2019 | 11:11 a.m.

    Great project!  I have seen a lot of maker spaces, but I think having a project like this will make working in a maker space more engaging, because you are not just doing anything that comes to mind, you have a goal to make the book for the visually impaired.  You have a goal and all the tools, so it is a matter of figuring out how to make the book and what machines or techniques to use.  It seems like a wonderful way to bring all these skills together for a great purpose.  Very rewarding.

     

  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 12:45 p.m.

    Thank you, William. It has been rewarding (and a bit surprising) to see how the meaningful purpose - building a better book - not only attracts youth to the project, but keeps them sustained in the effort to design and fabricate books (and some games) for children with visual impairments.  I viewed your video on your project STEM and Health Student Reporting Labs -- what a terrific project!  It's great to see what can happen when youth have opportunities and support to 'make stuff' about things they care about, and for an audience that matters to them.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.