NFB Project Innovation
10 Senior Innovators (Students ages 14-18)
4 days (July 24-29, 2012*)
1 Innovators Expo—a chance to unveil your inventions
Chart Your Own Course!
This year the National Center for Blind Youth in Science (NCBYS), a program of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, introduced an exciting new science program for students ages 7-11 and 14-18! This pioneer program focused on fostering a sense of innovation and autonomy in young students by allowing them to determine their course of study during the week of the program. Students ultimately focused on one investigation which they showcased at the Innovators expo. However, multiple branches of science were explored throughout the program through extension activities. Read about NFB Project Innovation in the Braille Monitor.
Another unique component of the NFB Project Innovation is how it served two unique age groups simultaneously. The first of these two groups was students in grades 3rd-6th (ages 7-11). This group, called Junior Innovators stayed at the NFBJI for three days, July 25-29. Twenty blind students in this group were accepted. Each student was required to attend with an adult chaperone. In this age group, students interacted with science professionals, blind mentors and Senior Innovators. They had the opportunity to show off their final innovation, which reflected their own personal interests and research, at the Innovators Expo.
The high school students, called Senior Innovators, served as junior advisors. They not only participated in the science program but also modeled blindness skills, scientific investigation skills and techniques to their younger counterparts. Senior Innovators also had the opportunity to exhibit at the Innovators Expo. This program was for students 9th-12th (ages 14-18). The Senior Innovators stayed at the NFBJI for four days, July 24-29, 2012. Ten blind students in this group were accepted.
A unique feature of NFB Project Innovation was the introduction of preprogram involvement using social media and telecommunications. These preprogram communications were used to network and prepare for the program. Students were in contact with each other, members of the science community and members of the NFBJI team in order to determine where their interests lay and what their final innovation would possibly be.
*Exact program dates differ based on grade level
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