The National Center for Blind Youth in Science equips teachers, parents, and blind youth themselves with the tools and knowledge they need to provide greater opportunities in science to blind youth across the nation.

Too often being blind means we are ignored at school because our teachers think we are not capable of science, math, engineering, or technology. I know I can do it and Youth Slam gave me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with it. — Youth Slam Participant

At the National Center for Blind Youth in Science, we aim to:

  • Provide resources and information about how blind youth can best learn and understand scientific and mathematical concepts.
  • Promote opportunities for blind youth in science through demonstration projects, partnerships, and education.
  • Provide technical support to projects working to improve materials and instruction for blind youth in science and math.
  • Provide a national mentoring program. 
  • Centralize research previously completed in this area and coordinate ongoing research efforts.

Partnerships with the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other leading organizations help us continue to provide the highest quality resources and programs.

Current Programs


The National Federation of the Blind works to improve opportunities for blind students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). NFB STEM2U, brings nonvisual accessible STEM lessons and activities to blind youth. Students of varying ages across the country will learn fundamental nonvisual tools and techniques they can use to pursue further education and careers in STEM. In collaboration with the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), we will become astronomers through the study of astrophysics and engineering.

Join us to build models of the James Webb Space Telescope, learn about the Earth’s atmosphere, discover why the Webb was sent to space, and explore how it studies space. STEM can be accessible; let us show you how! Coming soon in the spring or summer of 2024 to a city near you. This program is free to participating families. To learn more, visit our NFB STEM2U webpage. 

Past Programs

The following programs are no longer offered through the National Federation of the Blind, but you can learn more about what was offered in the past. 


The National Federation of the Blind Engineering Quotient program (NFB EQ) was a weeklong summer engineering program for blind and low-vision teens from  across the United States. Blind and low-vision teens engaged in an intensive weeklong residential program focusing on the various phases of an engineering design project with project partners and volunteer blind-adult mentors. The program took place in 2015, 2016, and 2018-2022. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Federation of the Blind, like so many organizations, needed to get creative about providing programming to blind youth.

NFB EQ Online was designed to provide the spatial learning opportunities of NFB EQ, in a virtual setting. In 2022, past participants were invited to our national convention in New Orleans, Louisiana to undertake an engineering challenge. Many blind people struggle with spatial skills and mental mapping. This is primarily because blind students do not have access to educational opportunities that foster the development of these skills. Among the STEM disciplines, engineering relies most heavily on spatial reasoning skills, so this program provided ample opportunities for students to utilize and strengthen them. The curriculum to the 2018-2021 NFB EQ program is available online for teachers. A STEM learning toolkit is also available for parents.

NFB EQ for Teachers: A Nonvisual & Accessible Engineering Curriculum

NFB EQ for Teachers is a free, online curriculum and collection of resources for educators who want to teach NFB EQ, the National Federation of the Blind’s week-long engineering program designed for blind and low-vision youth.

NFB EQ for Parents: A STEM Learning Toolkit for Parents of Blind Children

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are often seen as incredibly difficult or impossible for blind people to participate in, let alone make a career out of. NFB EQ for Parents was designed to support parents of blind children in guiding their children's successes in STEM and much more. 

NFB Youth Slam

NFB Youth Slam was a STEM program that took place in the summers of 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2017.  In 2017, the program was held at Towson University, the second largest university in Maryland. While staying at the university, one hundred blind and low-vision high school students from around the United States engaged in five days of activities designed to build confidence and increase science literacy. Blind role models mentored these youth as they engaged in scientific exploration, as well as social events and workshops on topics such as blindness and career preparation.

Blind Driver Challenge

The Blind Driver Challenge was groundbreaking initiative of our NFB Jernigan Institute that challenged universities, technology developers, and other interested innovators to establish NFB Blind Driver Challenge teams in collaboration with the NFB to build interface technologies that would empower blind people to drive a car independently.

NFB Junior Science Academy

The NFB Jernigan Institute developed the NFB Junior Science Academy to spark and enhance blind students' interest in scientific study; an academic area that many falsely believe is too difficult for the blind.

NFB Project Innovation

NFB Project Innovation was a 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.


NFB STEM-X was an inquiry-based STEM program which provided students with learning opportunities in STEM disciplines ranging from engineering and robotics to the science of cooking. 


STEM2U 2020 was a 3-hour virtual experience. Students engaged in activities that increased their understanding of STEM concepts while having fun and getting to know other blind students and mentors from across the country. Each student who participated in the program received all the materials to complete the lessons in the mail. Lessons were taught by NFB personnel and expert instructors.  

STEM2U 2014/2015 brought accessible STEM learning opportunities to ninety blind and low-vision children from across the United States. Furthermore, STEM2U offered learning opportunities to parents of blind children and educators working with blind students. STEM2U participants had the opportunity to engage in accessible STEM learning at some of the country’s largest museums and science centers. Watch the 2014/2015 STEM2U video.  

Other Non-NFB STEM Programs

Pathways to Science

This initiative of the Institute for Broadening Participation focuses on connecting underrepresented groups, like blind people, with STEM programs, funding, and resources. Explore their information for undergraduate students and their information for graduate students.

NASA Internships and Fellowships

The NASA internship webpage provides high school, undergraduate, and graduate students with a single application for hundreds of internships, fellowships, and scholarships in a wide variety of STEM disciplines.

Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students

Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students is a week-long program that takes place at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

More Information

For more information or questions, please contact us at 410-659-9314, extension 2418 or