Contributed by Robert Jaquiss
Editor of Independence Science Newsletter
We encourage our staff at Independence Science to pursue their passion for helping blind and vision-impaired students engage with hands-on laboratory experiences. This year, Ashley Neybert is helping at the NFB of Michigan’s Sense-sational Adventures in Summer Science camp (email: YOUTH@NFBMI.ORG) which explores some of the Twisty, Turbulent Torrents of Science. The camp is August 4 through August 11, 2019.
The NFB of Michigan asks: Can learning science be fun? Can a musician or poet or graphic artist use science in their art? How about our water? Is it cleaner or dirtier than it was 20 years ago? Is there more or less water now than in the past? Does your lawn care make a difference to a fish in the Great Lakes? Does a ship coming from another part of our world change the Great Lakes as it picks up or delivers its freight? What is it doing here, anyway? Why is Detroit or Saginaw built where they are? Is it geology, biology, weather or just random human choice which causes cities to grow where they are?
While we have divided science into many topics (chemistry, physics, geology, biology, medicine etc), we observe all of these sciences in play in the world around us at all times. This “seamless tapestry of interactivity” is what Sense-sational Adventures in Summer Science (SASS) investigates. Here, participants consider how geology, physics, chemistry and biology interact within a geological feature – the watershed – and how humans can change the very surface of the planet and the diversity of life itself.
This camp features professional blind scientists and experts in a variety of scientific fields. Participants will have opportunities to observe demonstrations and learn to use sophisticated state-of-the-art equipment, including the Sci-VoiceTM Talking Labquest to measure, record and analyze data to support their hypothesis. They will learn to be scientists and have a chance to be creative in an artistic way. Most of all, participants will have fun with other blind folks who are interested in science, as they float, paddle, probe, laugh and learn about science and our environment in The Twisty, Turbulent Torrents of Science.