1. Kate Meredith
  2. https://www.glaseducation.org/meet-the-team.html
  3. President - GLAS Education
  4. Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science
  5. http://epe.aui.edu/programs/idata/ https://www.glaseducation.org/idata.html
  6. GLAS Education
  1. Bret Feranchak
  2. Principal Consultant
  3. Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science
  4. http://epe.aui.edu/programs/idata/ https://www.glaseducation.org/idata.html
  5. Logos Consulting Group, LLC
  1. Santiago Gasca
  2. Research and Evaluation Associate
  3. Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science
  4. http://epe.aui.edu/programs/idata/ https://www.glaseducation.org/idata.html
  5. TERC
  1. Alexandra Grossi
  2. http://alexandradeangrossi.com
  3. User Centered Design Leader
  4. Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science
  5. http://epe.aui.edu/programs/idata/ https://www.glaseducation.org/idata.html
  6. AUI
  1. Kathy Gustavson
  2. https://www.glaseducation.org/
  3. Educator
  4. Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science
  5. http://epe.aui.edu/programs/idata/ https://www.glaseducation.org/idata.html
  6. GLAS Education
  1. Jim Hammerman
  2. Co-Director, STEM Education Evaluation Center
  3. Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science
  4. http://epe.aui.edu/programs/idata/ https://www.glaseducation.org/idata.html
  5. TERC
  1. Eric Hochberg
  2. Senior Researcher
  3. Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science
  4. http://epe.aui.edu/programs/idata/ https://www.glaseducation.org/idata.html
  5. TERC
  1. Tim Spuck
  2. Director of Education & Public Engagement
  3. Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science
  4. http://epe.aui.edu/programs/idata/ https://www.glaseducation.org/idata.html
  5. Associated Universities Inc.
  1. Annie Wilson
  2. Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science
  3. http://epe.aui.edu/programs/idata/ https://www.glaseducation.org/idata.html
  4. Youngstown State University, CosmoQuest
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Kate Meredith

    Kate Meredith

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 06:02 p.m.

    Welcome to IDATA

    We greatly appreciate your taking the time to view the Innovators Developing Accessible Tools for Astronomy (IDATA) video. IDATA is a STEM+C project seeking to increase accessibility in astronomy for the blind and visually impaired (BVI) community by developing an increased understanding of computational thinking. Through user-centered design (UCD), IDATA is developing data analysis software for astronomy, and a variety of curricular resources. This video only touches on our work in computation, UCD, the software, and curricular resources. We are interested in all your questions, but especially those related to potential use in classroom and informal learning environments, how our research can benefit others, and how this new software tool and curricular resources can best be disseminated to maximize impact across the STEM enterprise. Please go to GLAS Education for a description of the visuals presented in this video.

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    Akihiko Tomita

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 02:38 a.m.

    If the video had English subtitles, it is more appealing to non-English-speaking people. The video contains impressive practice which should appeal to many countries around the globe across the language border. For non-English speaking people, the subtitle help them to translate the contents into their languages.

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    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Kate Meredith

    Kate Meredith

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 08:15 a.m.

    Thanks for the comment.  You can access subtitles by selecting CC on the pop-up toolbar at the bottom of the video screen.

     
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    Sarah Haavind
    Tim Spuck
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    Akihiko Tomita

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 10:14 a.m.

    Thank you. I did not know the CC pop-up. It is very nice!

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    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 13, 2019 | 10:08 a.m.

    What a wonderful program and thank you for posting the accessible video script. This will serve as a good example for others as we work together to make the world of STEM accessible to all learners. Where are you in the development cycle of the UCD? If it is ready for public consumption, we invite you to send us the information about your software and cirriculum and we will disseminate to our network of 1,500 and post to our website resources.

     
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    Kristin Grender
    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Jim Hammerman

    Jim Hammerman

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:34 p.m.

    Thanks, Deb. It has been a really interesting project. We appreciate your offer to help disseminate our products and will contact you when we're a bit further along. We're currently working our way through a number of issues and suggestions raised in previous rounds of the UCD process, and have further rounds of feedback and design focused on other components planned for this summer. We're also continuing to conduct research on students' experiences and learning about astronomy, computing, and accessibility. Lots to do!

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    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 10:32 a.m.

    Creating tools that increase access to astronomy experiences and learning for a wide range of students is critical, and the fact that students with disabilities are at the center of the design process is impressive.  That doesn't always happen!  Could you tell us a bit more about how participating students--particularly those with visual impairments--contributed to the design and/or refinement of tools?  What new features were added? Or how were tools modified based on student challenges you observed or suggestions they made during testing?  Have you found that the tools work better for all students as a result of changes you made specifically for students with disabilities?

     
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    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Kate Meredith

    Kate Meredith

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 07:19 p.m.

    Thanks for asking, Karen.  Early in the grant, we had student groups learn the basics of user-centered design or inclusive design.  Some of the introductory activities are at http://inclusive.design/ Alexandra Grossi is our UCD specialist on the team.  From here we did more UCD activities specific to the design of Afterglow Access software.  This summer, IDATA students and teachers will attend camp in Williams Bay, WI to see some of their design ideas, test their effectiveness and make more design suggestions.  

     
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    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 01:09 p.m.

    Thanks, Kate, for that additional information.  Your description reminds me of the importance of helping students, who are new to UCD, to learn about the process before being expected to do it!  It will be interesting to see how students' increased skill with the software and with the UCD process influence the ways in which they think about and test the tools this summer, and/or their level of sophistication as they suggest redesign or new designs. Maybe you will be able to capture change/growth of these students?  At any rate, I'm sure the summer work will be very interesting and fruitful!

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    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Amy Hutchison

    Amy Hutchison

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 12:48 p.m.

    Great to hear about your project! Our project focuses on computational thinking about coding for elementary grades students with high-incidence disabilities, so I enjoyed learning more about how you are making astronomy, CT, and coding accessible for students with visual impairments. I look forward to learning more about the tool you have developed. Check out our video here: https://videohall.com/p/1453

     

     
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    Michael Prokosch
    Tim Spuck
    Kate Meredith
  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 02:36 p.m.

    Thanks Amy for your comment! I enjoyed your video as well. I do think the area of computational thinking provides an avenue for us to address needs of individuals of varying abilities. I'm actually based in DC at AUI (1400 16th St. NW), but would be great to get together and learn more about your project. Thanks again, Tim

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    Suketu Bhavsar

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 01:53 p.m.

    What a great job you are doing to make Astronomy accessible! Universal Design, of which accessibility is a part, is something we should all think about when designing our classes.

    I was wondering if this video is itself accessible to the blind?

     
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    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 02:47 p.m.

    Thanks, Suketu! Making the video as accessible as possible was a priority for our team. If you go to https://www.glaseducation.org/idatastem2019.html, you'll find verbal descriptions of visual elements from the video alongside the spoken text overlaying these visual elements.  

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    Annie Wilson
    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 04:03 p.m.

    I found your project particularly interesting because as an instructor, this semester I had a visually impaired student in my lecture only astronomy course.  I wasn't informed of this ahead of time, so I struggled to modify handouts, visualizations, and demonstrations throughout the semester.  I ended up using a lot of audio, but not scientific sonification, because I'm not familiar with that.  I look forward to these resources being available.  I'm interested in how you see instructors use these in larger, lecture style courses where so much general astronomy is taught these days.  

     
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    Kristin Grender
    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 10:42 a.m.

    Thanks Erin! We too are looking forward to getting these resources out and seeing them used in a variety of educational settings. I think you bring up a good point about how the resources can be used in those larger lecture-style astronomy courses, and that is something we need to give more thought to. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Icon for: Kate Meredith

    Kate Meredith

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 06:51 p.m.

    We hear often from professors like you who suddenly find themselves in unfamiliar territory, struggling with how to make their courses accessible.  I have visions of creating an Astronomy 101 Tool Kit with all our favorite tactiles and manipulative.  How about a text box with a box of 3D models to go with the content and really good graph and image descriptions. But I digress.  We will be putting together our hands-on lessons as the grant finishes up this fall.  We will put you on our list.  

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  • Icon for: R. Bruce Mattingly

    R. Bruce Mattingly

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2019 | 01:39 a.m.

    Congratulations on an outstanding project! I'm going to recommend that my colleagues in our chemistry department check out your work. They worked with a visually impaired student last year who was enrolled in a general chemistry laboratory course. It is great to see creative ideas for making scientific concepts and data accessible to all.

     
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    Tim Spuck
    Kate Meredith
  • Icon for: Kate Meredith

    Kate Meredith

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 08:17 a.m.

    In the area of chemistry if you have not checked out Cary Supalo's work, do so. Had Cary been available at the time we could have snatched him up on the IDATA team.  Cary is currently with Independence Science

     
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    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: R. Bruce Mattingly

    R. Bruce Mattingly

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2019 | 11:16 a.m.

    Thanks for the link to Independence Science. What a great resource!

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    Tim Spuck
    Kate Meredith
  • May 14, 2019 | 03:49 p.m.

    Great project - more projects at NSF and elsewhere need to think about students with different abilities. 

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    Eric Hochberg
  • Icon for: Kathy Gustavson

    Kathy Gustavson

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 03:59 p.m.

    I agree. The project has helped all involved see the world differently. We have made the leap of always thinking of "How can this be made accessible?" for all we encounter. 

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    Sarah Haavind
    Steven Bayless
    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Kate Meredith

    Kate Meredith

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 07:57 a.m.

    Involving the target community at all levels of the project is essential.  Difficult to achieve, but I personally have found that this project, in particular, is a different sort of accessibility project than I have been a part of in the past.  We are not doing accessibility for people but with people.  It's a catch 22 however.  Because astronomy and computing science have been inaccessible to the BVI (blind and visually impaired) community in the past there very few BVI professionals in these fields to lead the way. At the teacher level, there are more teachers of the visually impaired with interest but very few students who have BOTH an interest in astronomy and the base background to jump in.  As the project concludes, you will see just how many hands-on activities and support products we had to dive into to position all of our participants to contribute design ideas to the software.  There is a lot more to say about this but my mantra is "build your community"  Outreach early so when you are ready to tackle a big research project you have a pool of people from your target community who are with you from Day 1.    

     
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  • Icon for: Daniel Morales-Doyle

    Daniel Morales-Doyle

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 01:00 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this important work. The with versus for people distinction is so important. As a science teacher educator, this makes me think about the importance of recruiting and supporting more people with disabilities to become teachers. One of the recent graduates from our secondary science teacher licensure program has a visual impairment and she is more attentive to issues of ableism and accessibility than any science educator with whom I have ever worked. 

     
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  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 10:22 a.m.

    Thanks Daniel! We can not overstate the importance of including our user community (BVI, high school students, teachers, etc.) in the design/development process. Inclusiveness does not start at the end of design/development, but rather at the beginning. It's not easy, and IDATA has certainly had its struggles in this area, but I think the rewards have been great. Thanks again for your comment and for viewing the video.

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  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 01:19 p.m.

    Kate and Co-Presenters, congratulations on this terrific project and thank you for taking the time to create and share a video on the Showcase. Your visitors are making it clear how much so many of us yearn for more options to widen accessibility for STEM in particular. Fantastic that you open your project description focused on the content ("...project that works to advance knowledge of best practices in teaching and learning related to computation and computational thinking in astronomy"). I also love how this project is, as you say above, with rather than for those who are differently enabled.

    You offered at the start that we are invited to ask, "how this new software tool and the curricular resources can best be disseminated to maximize impact across the STEM enterprise" and further down you share some exciting ideas - "an Astronomy 101 Tool Kit with all our favorite tactiles and manipulatives...and a text box with a box of 3D models to go with the content and really good graph and image descriptions..." Brilliant!! My son is a Down Syndrome adult and LOVES space. He is not BVI but he would be engrossed all the same with access to 3D models, tactiles and manipulatives for thinking kinesthetically about his favorite subject. Don't sell yourself short on who would benefit from all the great work you are doing. I'd love your thoughts on how the tools you are developing may not be so specialized but also leaning toward universal designs for learning? Also, don't you think science museum shops would be selling such products like hotcakes? 

     
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    Tim Spuck
    Kate Meredith
  • Icon for: Kate Meredith

    Kate Meredith

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 12:15 a.m.

    Thank you for this comment.  We are actually thinking along the lines you describe exactly.  I try to stay focused on our stated target audience because it is so easy for me to go off on all the ways we can use the products of this project.  The previous project Skynet Junior Scholars partnered with the Wisconsin School for the Deaf among others.  We know that manipulatives are very important to this group as well.  IDATA has sparked so many ideas among the collaborators I can hardly count them.  

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  • Icon for: Kathy Gustavson

    Kathy Gustavson

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 06:00 p.m.

    Thank you for the great thoughts on making all that has been done so far available to a wider audience than just BVI. I also believe the activities would be beneficial for all. As we get ready to make all the "products" available, I will remind the group of this important point.

    Working with BVI, instead of for BVI, has personally been very enlightening!

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  • Icon for: Lynn Cominsky

    Lynn Cominsky

    Professor and Chair
    May 16, 2019 | 06:58 p.m.

    Thank you for the great work that you are doing to bring astronomy to differently abled audiences.

    And I look forward to learning more about your project next spring at Lake Geneva! 

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    Barbara Stachelski

    K-12 Teacher
    May 16, 2019 | 09:31 p.m.

    My students have benefited from this program.  It is an amazing experience for all.

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  • Icon for: Michael Prokosch

    Michael Prokosch

    K-12 Teacher
    May 17, 2019 | 09:42 a.m.

    This was the first time I have worked on a project like this.  It's been a great learning experience for me and my students.  I think projects like this also help our future scientists see and experience first hand what may be in store for their future as they prepare to collaborate with a richer and more diverse world.

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    Tim Spuck
  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 11:21 a.m.

    I'm wondering if IDATA Teachers/students, UG Mentors, and those on the Leadership Team could describe one of their most significant ah ha moments or inspirational experiences with the project?  

    Mine was when one of our BVI Undergraduate Mentors, Chris Mathews, was first testing the software tool (sonification of an image). Standing over his shoulder I could clearly see a beautiful globular cluster in the image he was working with. Chris listened to it once and said, "I think it's something big near the center of the image, maybe a galaxy or a star cluster." He listened to it a second time and thought for a few seconds and said, "I'm going to go with a globular cluster near the center of the image." A rush came over me, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I even got a tear in my eye, thinking to myself, "I'm part of a team that is making the impossible possible, creating a tool that will allow an individual without sight to experience the beauty of the universe in a way not previously accessible." Chris did have some experience in astronomy so he knew the difference between a globular cluster and a galaxy, etc. but this was new. The Afterglow Access software will allow him to sit at a telescope or somewhere 1000's of miles away and "see" his data immediately. There's no need for a 3-d printer, no added costs, he and and people who share his visual impairment will now be able to have a comparable experience to mine, and that was such a powerful emotional and intellectual experience for me. 

    It also made me realize that we do not have people with disabilities, we simply have people with varying levels of ability. If a BVI individual and I were to have the same experience, we would have different experiences. I will see things with my eyes, but they will hear things with their ears that I can not. In this case, which of us has the disability? My experience with IDATA has taught me that the answer is neither, we each simply have different abilities. If we can focus on this, and ensure the tools are available for those with different abilities, we can build more diverse and impactful teams/projects across society, making the planet a better place for all.

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  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 02:54 p.m.

    I'm wondering if IDATA Teachers/students, UG Mentors, and those on the Leadership Team could describe one of their most significant ah ha moments or inspirational experiences with the project?  

    Mine was when one of our BVI Undergraduate Mentors, Chris Mathews, was first testing the software tool (sonification of an image). Standing over his shoulder I could clearly see a beautiful globular cluster in the image he was working with. Chris listened to it once and said, "I think it's something big near the center of the image, maybe a galaxy or a star cluster." He listened to it a second time and thought for a few seconds and said, "I'm going to go with a globular cluster near the center of the image." A rush came over me, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I even got a tear in my eye, thinking to myself, "I'm part of a team that is making the impossible possible, creating a tool that will allow an individual without sight to experience the beauty of the universe in a way not previously accessible." Chris did have some experience in astronomy so he knew the difference between a globular cluster and a galaxy, etc. but this was new. The Afterglow Access software will allow him to sit at a telescope or somewhere 1000's of miles away and "see" his data immediately. There's no need for a 3-d printer, no added costs, he and and people who share his visual impairment will now be able to have a comparable experience to mine, and that was such a powerful emotional and intellectual experience for me. 

    It also made me realize that we do not have people with disabilities, we simply have people with varying levels of ability. If a BVI individual and I were to have the same experience, we would have different experiences. I will see things with my eyes, but they will hear things with their ears that I can not. In this case, which of us has the disability? My experience with IDATA has taught me that the answer is neither, we each simply have different abilities. If we can focus on this, and ensure the tools are available for those with different abilities, we can build more diverse and impactful teams/projects across society, making the planet a better place for all.

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  • May 19, 2019 | 05:12 p.m.

    I really enjoyed your video and learning more about your project. Your approach to involving users in the design of solutions is a great and inspiring example of universal design combined with human-centered design.

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