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October 9-13

Grades 8-12

Student using the Photogate This three-day class is for secondary students who read braille, and who are taking science classes that include lab work, such as Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. In the past, these students have faced great challenges resulting from the scarcity of lab tools that are accessible for blind learners. Science Lab: Tools for Success! is specifically designed to address these challenges.

This class will teach students to use the Talking LabQuest, a hand-held data management tool that allows students to independently collect and review data, rather than rely on a sighted peer. Students will perform experiments, print results, and learn skills they can use in their local school science labs. Focus areas of the class include (but are not limited to):

  • Hands-on experience with laboratory measurements using the Talking LabQuest and probes such as a thermometer and a pH sensor. By using the Talking LabQuest, a wide variety of tools from the Vernier Software & Technology hardware product line enable blind students to conduct real lab work, as their sighted peers do.
  • Produce both braille and print copies of their lab results, using the Talking LabQuest, JAWS, and the data collection software package known as Logger Pro.
  • Lab Safety: All safety protocols as recommended by the American Chemical Society (ACS) will be implemented for this class. This includes the use of safety goggles and proper dress code, which means that no open-toe footwear and no shorts will be allowed. This also includes the prohibition of all eating and drinking and chewing gum in the laboratory. Appropriate safety equipment such as an eye wash and safety shower will be demonstrated, and all participants will be oriented to their functionality.

Instructors for this class vary, but include Ph.D. chemists who are blind. one of whom is the individual responsible for the creation of the Talking Lab Quest. This is an awesome opportunity for any science-minded braille-reading student to meet inspiring role models.

Students attending the class should have basic JAWS skills.

This class directly addresses a number of Science TEKS in §112.31, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science, High School, and §112.61, Other Science Courses.

To see the many sensors and other tools made accessible to your student by use of the Talking LabQuest, visit Vernier at http://www.vernier.com/, go to "Products," and view the list of sensors and probes. The Talking LabQuest makes most of these accessible.

In previous science classes, the developers of the Talking Lab Quest offered a discount to local schools whose students participated in this class. We anticipate a similar opportunity this year.

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