View Full Version : Using 3D printed data to teach astronomy to visually impaired students

Roger E. Moore
2019-Jun-18, 01:12 PM
A neat new technique for visually impaired students to learn details about astronomy.


Touching the stars: improving NASA 3D printed data sets with blind and visually impaired audiences

Kimberly Kowal Arcand, April Jubett, Megan Watzke, Sara Price, Kelly T.S. Williamson, Peter Edmonds (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) (Submitted on 15 Jun 2019)

Astronomy has been an inherently visual area of science for millenia, yet a majority of its significant discoveries take place in wavelengths beyond human vision. There are many people, including those with low or no vision, who cannot participate fully in such discoveries if visual media is the primary communication mechanism. Numerous efforts have worked to address equity of accessibility to such knowledge sharing, such as through the creation of three dimensional (3D) printed data sets. This paper describes progress made through technological and programmatic developments in tactile 3D models using the NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory to improve access to data.

2019-Aug-02, 06:44 PM
What an awesome idea!

Sadly I don't have much to add beyond that it might take a while to implement this kind of infrastructure. Still, it seems like a novel way to utilize new technology for the accessibility of all.

2019-Aug-19, 12:05 PM
Amazing! Hope these lessons with 3D will spread all subjects of all schools and universities...