8 Oct 2016

Touching the universe: astronomy for the blind

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 8 October 2016

3D printing is being used to teach blind students about astronomy.

This Way Up visits Manurewa High School in Auckland to experience 'tactile astronomy' in action, with Arturo Pelayo, Ezekiel Robson, Michael Chopra and Naomi Mackinnon.

There is work currently going on to bring tactile astronomy into schools here in New Zealand, using 3D-printed models sourced from NASA's data about of comets, asteroids, and other celestial bodies. 

And the same principles can also be used to illustrate ideas in other areas, for example in disciplines like geography and meteorology where accurate 3D representations can easily be made of particular mountains, or to illustrate the forces at work in a hurricane.

General tactile astronomy info and resources