WCBVI Students Visit Yerkes Observatory
Students from WCBVI travel
to Yerkes Observatory
Students and staff members from the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (WCBVI) joined members of the Williams Bay Lions Club for the presentation of a special graphics printer and tour of the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay June 12.
The event included demonstrations of the observatory's 40-inch refractor (the world's largest refracting telescope) and the 24-inch reflector telescope students will use in the Space Exploration Experience (SEE) Project this summer. Students will build their own infrared detectors and will learn more about how astronomers capture images from telescopes via electronic cameras. The sensitive digital cameras "see" light outside the spectrum of human vision, collecting astronomical data such as X-rays, ultraviolet light, infrared light, and radio waves that can be easily transferred for computer analysis.
Additionally, Lions Club members presented a Swellform Graphics Machine to the observatory. The printer, which converts standard ink print images into raised images that can be interpreted by the blind, is a critical component for the SEE Project. Dr. Kyle Cudworth, director, and Jim Gee, manager of the Yerkes Observatory, spoke along with Rick Pfenning, president of the Williams Bay Lions Club.
The SEE Project is a collaborative effort by Dr. Bernhard Beck-Winchatz of De Paul University in Chicago, the Yerkes Observatory, and WCBVI to develop a space science curriculum that is fully accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired. The project is funded by a grant from NASA.
For information about Education Forum or to submit article ideas, contact:
Mark E. Ibach, Editor, at (608) 266-3374.
Created June 13, 2003