3D-IMAGINE: 3D-IMage Arrays to Graphically Implement New Education Astronomy 100 classes for Blind Students

Project: Research project

Project Details


Project Overview: We have a team of interdisciplinary researchers at ASU who are developing 3-dimensional (3D) tactile images that render a 2D image in fully 3D, where the pixel height can vary significantly and represent a range of possible parameters, such as light intensity, altitude or depth, temperature or color, pressure or density, etc. We believe that the introduction of these 3D tactiles has the potential to revolutionize how partially or fully blind students sense and mentally visualize the information contained in any 2D image, and allow them to begin to fully participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Our project is called: 3D-IMAGINE: 3D-IMage Arrays to Graphically Implement New Education, and will start Astronomy 100 classes for Blind Students. Our core team is comprised of faculty, researchers, professional teachers, and students who represent astronomy (HST imaging and spectroscopy), Artistic Design (3D modeling), and Computer Science (3D tactile printers). The objectives of 3D-IMAGINE fully match those of the HST Cycle 20 EPO program, and 3D-IMAGINEs specific Project Goals are: (1) Develop, Test, and Replicate 3D Tactile image devices for the STEM classroom: We will create a data base of images that are essential for Astronomy 100 level lecture classes, develop the best set of 3D tactiles, test these with volunteer blind students, and mass produce them for regular use in the STEM classroom. (2) Implement, Translate and Utilize 3D-IMAGINE tactiles in Astronomy 100-level classes at ASU: Our main objective is to significantly enhance the learning experience of STEM materials by blind or visually impaired students, by having them start using these 3D tactiles, and learn to sense and mentally visualize 2D images in STEM classes. 3D-IMAGINE will start introducing them into Astronomy lectures (AST 111/112) in Fall 2013Spring 2014. (3) Evaluate how blind students best learn from 3D tactile images. Optimize their design, fabrication and use for STEM classes:We will carefully evaluate how to best optimize these 3D tactile devices for blind or visually impaired students, and how to best optimize their learning in Astronomy 100 lecture classes. 3D-IMAGINE will address their ability to use 3D tactiles to imagine intensity, altitude/depth of (cratered) planetary landscapes, color& temperature, and perhaps time variability and gradients.
Effective start/end date3/1/142/28/17


  • National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA): $58,199.00

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