A Microscopic World at the Touch: Learning Biology with Novel 2.5D and 3D Tactile Models

By Cristina G. Reynaga-Peña

Preferred Citation

Reynaga-Peña, C. G. (2015). A Microscopic World at the Touch: Learning Biology with Novel 2.5D and 3D Tactile Models. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 5(1). Retrieved from https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/jbir/jbir15/jbir050103.html. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/5-54


Accurate conceptual understanding of abstract biological topics can be a challenge for young students in the science classroom and particularly for blind students, given limited availability of non-visual resources to support learning. With the goal of making science concepts meaningful using primarily the sense of touch, we have developed texture-rich 3D and 2.5D tactile, didactic materials on biological subjects such as cells, tissues, fungi, bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic objects of biological interest. Our team of expert scientists, plastic artists, and educators has been involved in the creation of such models to ensure that their characteristics are accessible for blind and visually impaired students as well as sighted students, making them suitable for use in inclusive classrooms. Simultaneously, an elementary and middle school curriculum which includes multi-sensorial experimental activities has been proposed for some of the above subjects, where tactile models are incorporated to facilitate teaching.


3D tactile models, biology teaching, inclusive science education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/5-54

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2015 to the National Federation of the Blind.