NASA helps visually impaired students

July 14, 2006

Twelve visually impaired or blind U.S. high school students will have an opportunity to explore careers in rocketry as part of a NASA program.

The space agency, in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind, will help the students participate in a weeklong rocket science camp at the federation's Jernigan Institute in Baltimore and at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The camp -- called "Rocket On!" -- offers the teenagers an opportunity to learn about rocketry by developing and building sensors for a rocket to be launched from Wallops.

While at Wallops, the students will assume the roles of NASA mission control personnel as they conduct the mission. Students will participate in various reviews, practice countdowns, final rocket and payload preparations. The launch is scheduled for next Wednesday, with July 20 as the backup date.

The teenagers will use MathTrax software -- a NASA-developed calculator that enables them to visualize data by translating information into an easily accessible text or audio description.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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