Making Earth and Space Science Accessible

Earth and Space Science Activities for students who are blind or visually impaired

According to A Framework for K-12 Science Education, Earth and Space Science "investigate processes that operate on Earth and also address its place in the solar system and the galaxy."  This is one of four Disciplinary Core Ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards and includes the following:

  • Earth's Systems
  • Earth and Human Activity
  • Earth's Place in the Universe

 

 

 

By Laura Hospitál
Tectonic plates are giant slabs of Earth's lithosphere (the outer layer of the Earth ) that move in relation to each other. This movement can occur... read more
By Charlotte Cushman
North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS-SB) has created a video about a new tactile resource from NASA called “Getting a Feel for... read more
By Laura Hospitál
As I taught about stars this semester an auditory manner in which to describe absolute and apparent magnitude occurred to me.  In this activity... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Many thanks to Jim Allan, Accessibility Coordinator at TSBVI (and resident Space Geek) for this idea.  This is a good follow-up activity to an... read more
By Laura Hospitál
This Tactile Astronomy section of Amazing Space features a library of selected Hubble images that can be printed in a tactile format.  It opened in... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Due to the combined gravitational effects of the Sun and Moon, extreme tidal ranges occur twice a month at the 2 times when the Sun, Moon, and Earth... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Students practice tactile diagram reading skills as they  describe how a two-dimensional model can represent the 3-D Earth.  Strengths and weaknesses... read more
By Laura Hospitál
This interactive activity can be done while instructing students on plate tectonics and as a review.   Key terms: Plate tectonics: The... read more
By Charlotte Cushman
The Whalemobile is a life-sized (43 feet long) humpback whale you can touch.  It is modeled after a real whale, named Nile, who spends her summers... read more
By JKillebrew
This activity provides an introduction to black holes and the Milky Way.
By aroth
As you know fossils are clues that allow us to see all the changes that happened throughout earth’s history, such as climate, weather, foods, etc.... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Much of astronomy is particularly visual including the concepts of apparent magnitude and absolute magnitude. The idea of using the strength of the... read more
By Charlotte Cushman
SOFIA, which is a jumbo jet fitted with an infrared telescope, recently flew through the "central flash" of Pluto.  This is the area where... read more
By Charlotte Cushman
The SETI Institute’s NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program seeks to engage learners of all ages in NASA's science education programs and... read more
By Laura Hospitál
We just covered the phases of the Moon, with tides as our next topic of study. It occurred to me that the http://www.perkinselearning.org/accessible-... read more
By Laura Hospitál
This activity occurred to me as I was using globes for my students to teach space science concepts.  Some of the globes I had borrowed from our... read more
By Laura Hospitál
As I was contemplating how to describe why we only view one side of the Moon, this simple model came to my mind.  Students work in groups of two to... read more
By Laura Hospitál
I found that my students were struggling to understand why the tides are later (50 min) each day. As I contemplated how to make this content more... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Many thanks to Jim Allan for sharing this incredible resource.  NASA has made many of their images available in 3-D format appropriate for printing... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Wanda Merced, having lost her vision as a young woman in college, continued in her study of physics.  She speaks about the uncommon practice of "... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Students with visual impairment can be involved using radio methods to measure meteor impacts through NASA's SSERVI (Solar System Exploration... read more
By Charlotte Cushman
A team of educators, including Science Teacher Jeff Killebrew from New Mexico School for the Blind, flew on the SOFIA mission to observe NASA science... read more
By Laura Hospitál
This activity came from a documentary that we watched about a man who is blind who hiked the Appalachian trail. He had never been a hiker or even... read more
By Laura Hospitál
The Latin word scientia, from which the the work "science" hails,  means "to know".  The heart of a scientist is an unquenching desire to know more... read more
By Laura Hospitál
This simple activity was designed to teach a student who is deafblind about the layers of the Earth.  It allows for active learning, as the student... read more
By Charlotte Cushman
Astrophysicists Jabran Zahid and Wanda Diaz Merced recently taught a hands-on lesson to secondary school students at the Perkins School for the Blind... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Students begin to learn about the three types of rock found in the Earth in elementary school.  These three types of rock are: igneous rock -... read more
By Stu Grove
For this year’s Science Fair, Introductory Physics student Shae K. began by pondering whether it would be possible to identify a mystery sample of... read more
By Laura Hospitál
As students complete science projects, it is valuable to review the steps of the scientific method prior to the completion of the project board by... read more
By Laura Hospitál
As students learn about plate tectonics, they are introduced to the concepts of tectonic plate movement, either away from the adjacent plate (... read more
By Laura Hospitál
The Earth is divided into three layers: the crust, the mantle and the core.  The mantle and the core are further divided into an inner and outer... read more
By Kate Fraser
Animals of the coral reef need calcium carbonate to build their skeletons. In this activity, students compare the formation of coral reefs today when... read more
By Kate Fraser
Recent science articles have discussed how the increase in Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere is contributing to increased levels of carbon dioxide in... read more
By Sandra Craig
For the majority of us Earthlings, the closest we will ever come to experiencing outer space will be through television and pictures.  What if that... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Students with visual impairment (as well as sighed students) often struggle to grasp the relative size of the Moon and the Earth and the distance... read more
By Laura Hospitál
This delicious model describes the structure of the Earth's plates and the Earth's layers as well as the theory of plate tectonics. This activity... read more
By Selma Walsh
This activity is typically used to teach energy concepts and demonstrate how the sun warms air and makes air rise.  For visually impaired students... read more
By Laura Hospitál
The theory of plate tectonics states that the Earth's crust is made of plates that move slowly toward or away from each other or past each other as... read more
By Laura Hospitál
This activity is designed to be used in conjunction with other Moon Phases activites on this site.  It should follow the Moon Phases Tactile Graphic... read more
By abobnar
Why teach a student who is blind about light? Because it exists! This activity explains the basic foundation for teaching a student who is blind... read more
By Laura Hospitál
This interactive model allows the student to manipulate the position of the Moon as it revolves around the Earth in order to understand the... read more
By Laura Hospitál
This tactile graphic is very easy to make and has worked well with my students.  I am unsure of who originally designed the model. Use this model to... read more
By Laura Hospitál
Students with visual impairment are often presented with tactile graphics to represent the phases of the Moon.  This activity can act as a supplement... read more
By Kate Fraser
with assistance from Stu Grove Background Information It is difficult to compare the sizes of the planets in our solar system directly since the... read more
By Kate Fraser
Developing a concept of the size of the solar system is difficult for everyone!  It is immense! In this activity students develop a sense of the vast... read more
By Charlotte Cushman
Archived Hubble Hangout video on 3D printing and technology in astronomy education and research.  The 3D Astronomy Project at the Space Telescope... read more
By Kate Fraser
This bulletin board was created as part of a larger unit on environmental science with students in the Secondary Program at Perkins School for the... read more
By Charlotte Cushman
Produced by a collaboration between the Space Telescope Science Institute and SAS, Reach for the Stars is a free iBook available for download to use... read more
By Accessible Science
This article by Kate Fraser discusses oceanography for students who are visually impaired and describes a scientific collaboration which allows... read more
By Charlotte Cushman
Students from Perkins School for the Blind Outreach Program attended Space Camp.  During this experience, they have an opportunity to meet other... read more

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