Release Date: 
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

Blind Students from Across the Nation Come to Baltimore for Hands-on Engineering Program

National Federation of the Blind Conducts First NFB EQ Program under New NSF Grant

Baltimore, Maryland (July 24, 2018): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) will welcome thirty blind high school students to its Baltimore headquarters next week for a summer engineering program called NFB EQ ("Engineering Quotient"). NFB EQ will be a jam-packed week of fun and learning. Students will spend each day in activities designed to strengthen their knowledge of engineering and problem-solving skills. In the evenings, they will explore the Baltimore community and participate in a range of interactive recreational activities that supplement and enhance their learning in the classroom.

This is the first of five new NFB EQ programs supported by a multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation. In addition to making blind youth aware of techniques to help them succeed in engineering and other STEM disciplines, the programs will contribute to important research on the development of spatial reasoning, the ability to mentally manipulate and comprehend 2D and 3D objects, in blind children and youth. Students will learn the basics of tactile sketching and technical drafting, create multi-view drawings and diagrams that represent forces and vectors, and develop their capacity to interpret 3D objects tactilely and represent them in drawings. They will also learn about architectural design and will explore the process from their own original sketches through to the building of their unique structures by the end of the week.

"For well over a decade now, the National Federation of the Blind has encouraged blind students to participate in STEM subjects and developed techniques for helping them to do so," said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. "We are pleased to once again have the opportunity to welcome blind high school students to Baltimore for a week of empowerment, learning, and fun, while at the same time enhancing the understanding of tools and techniques that will help these students in STEM studies and beyond."

For more information on NFB EQ, including testimonials from participants in past programs, please visit Members of the media interested in reporting on the program during the week should contact Chris Danielsen at 410-262-1281 or to schedule a visit.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1712887. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.