Past NFB STEM Programs

2019 NFB EQ

Structural engineering was the focus of the 2019 iteration of NFB EQ. Structural engineering is sometimes described as the practical side of architecture. Architects are largely concerned with aesthetic effect when they design a building. They think about how people will use the space, and they try to design places that will meet human needs. Using architectural blueprints, structural engineers figure out how the building actually can be constructed.

2018 NFB EQ

Spatial ability was the focus of the 2018 iteration of NFB EQ. 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. 

2015/2016 NFB EQ

Throughout this program, high school students worked to demonstrate mastery of the engineering design processes, as well as engineering concepts such as prototyping, design viability, and data collection and analysis. This program provided teens with the opportunity to hone their engineering skills — from technical knowledge, to problem solving ability, to the understanding that through engineering one can improve other people’s quality of life.

NFB Youth Slam

NFB Youth Slam was a STEM program that took place in July of 2017. It 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. These youth were mentored by blind role models 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 a 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 brought accessible STEM learning opportunities to ninety blind and low-vision children in elementary and high school 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.