For the last four summers, high school students with VIB from across the country have travelled to Research Triangle Park in North Carolina to learn about STEM.
Did they read about STEM fields in a textbook? No.
Did they research STEM fields on the internet? No!
Did they suffer through a lecture from someone that knows about STEM, but is completely clueless about how to adapt STEM for the unique needs of students with VIB? Definitely not!
Students that attend this camp work with blind professionals that are accomplished in various STEM fields. Learning about science and technology is one thing. But, learning it from a professional blind role model is an entirely different experience.
Students that attend this camp spend time in the lab and the field. For example, last year they learned about sediment and erosion control during hands-on activities. Then, they explored a tactile version of the official engineering drawing that was used to build a dam, explored a three-dimensional model of the dam, and then crawled all over the actual dam in the field to get a concrete understanding of the dam’s construction and the function of the dam’s features.
Students that attend this camp learn what it’s like to live on a college campus. They live in dorms on the campus of the North Carolina School of Science and Math which is a residential pre-college. They chill after hours with undergraduate residential advisors. They visit laboratories at nearby world-class universities including Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University. They also visit research labs at companies in nearby Research Triangle Park which is a technology center that is home to hundreds of tech companies.
Students that attend this camp move on to bigger and better things. One alumnus is now a sophomore at Dartmouth. Another alumnus was just accepted to MIT!
This year, camp will focus on the fields of computer science, robotics, and data science. I’m organizing lab visits and demonstrations by other blind professionals that work in these fields. I’m calling in favors and twisting arms so 2019 campers will have access to lots of role models with visual impairments. Stay tuned to this blog for previews of camp activities and speakers. In the meantime …
Register your students! Registration closes March 1.
This camp is open to rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students with VIB that are independent travelers, performing at or above grade level, and are potentially interested in careers in STEM. Application is required.
The cost of camp is $1100. Be sure to contact your student’s Transition Counselor at your state’s Division of Services for the Blind about financial assistance. Recent changes in federal law require that at least 15% of agency funds are spent on transition services. This camp has been specifically designed to help students with VIB transition to careers in STEM.
Got a question? Leave a comment below or email the Camp Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.