1. Stacey Forsyth
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/stacey-forsyth-8595b99/
  3. Director, CU Science Discovery
  4. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  5. https://tactilepicturebooks.org
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Ann Cunningham
  2. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  3. https://tactilepicturebooks.org
  4. Colorado Center for the Blind, Sensational Books
  1. Bridget Dalton
  2. http://www.colorado.edu/education/bridget-dalton
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  5. https://tactilepicturebooks.org
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Kathryn Penzkover
  2. High School Programs Manager
  3. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  4. https://tactilepicturebooks.org
  5. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Kristina Stamatis
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  3. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  4. https://tactilepicturebooks.org
  5. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Abigale Stangl
  2. http://www.abigalestangl.com
  3. Graduate Research Assistant
  4. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  5. https://tactilepicturebooks.org
  6. University of Colorado
  1. Heather Thiry
  2. Research Associate
  3. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  4. https://tactilepicturebooks.org
  5. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Benjamin Walsh
  2. http://thisisaproject.org
  3. Graduate Research Assistant
  4. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  5. https://tactilepicturebooks.org
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Tom Yeh
  2. http://tomyeh.info
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Designing Tactile Picture Books: Critical Making in Libraries to Broaden Participation in STEM Education and Careers
  5. https://tactilepicturebooks.org
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
Presenters’
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Michael Haney

    Michael Haney

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 09:52 a.m.

    The rationale for the project is very good and that leads to the three goals offered in the notes.  However, these are quite broad and I don't see how you will collect and make sense of data related to each of these.  It seems to me that the project is necessarily more about finding out what is possible.  Have you considered how you will collect more than anecdotal data on the project?   Does the project include students who are visually impaired?  

     

    What tools are likely to be available to those students/teachers/parents wanting to produce materials in the near future?  For instance, are 3D printers something school and libraries might have?

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 03:56 p.m.

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for helping to facilitate discussion about our project. We are just getting started with the project and yes, some of this work is focused on learning more about what is possible, both in terms of what we can accomplish in informal community Makerspaces as well as how we can effectively engage in the project youth with visual impairments. We have collaborated with a preschool for children who are visually impaired and with the Colorado Center for the Blind (CCB) to gather input about the design of tactile materials and to inform the project about the accessibility of different tools and technologies. One of our team members (Ann Cunningham) is a tactile artist who teaches art at CCB and her expertise has been invaluable to the project. This summer, we will be running a week-long workshop for youth who are blind, in collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind, and we hope that experience, as well as a series of fall workshops at CCB, will help us shape the program in a way that effectively involves students who are visually impaired as co-designers in the project.

    Selecting appropriate tools for the project has been a challenge. On the one hand, we want to use tools that are readily available to students and teachers and that can be accessible to all students, including those with visual impairments. However, we are also looking to create designs that can be easily replicated, so that teachers and parents can easily access, download and print products for their children. Our participants begin this exercise by building prototypes out of craft materials, but then shift to creating digital designs that can be stored, shared and re-mixed.

    Although they are certainly not ubiquitous, 3D printers have become more common at schools, libraries and community Makerspaces. In fact, when we began developing this project, we heard from many teachers and librarians who had 3D printers available but wanted more authentic design challenges for their students. This project addresses that issue, but it is also accompanied by some challenges of working with 3D printers: they do require some expertise and troubleshooting, and it can take a long time to print one page. We are currently exploring some different tools to address some of those issues in order to make the project more feasible in a wider variety of spaces.

     
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  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 05:49 p.m.

    HI, I'm part of the TPBP team working with Stacey and others at CU Boulder. . An exciting aspect of our formative research design is the documenting and study of the design variations that occur across settings and workshop topics.  As the project has unfolded, we've iteratively designed specific workshops as we try them out in new contexts. Our more in-depth analysis this summer will inform what we hope will be a robust instructional model for this type of maker-space and project-based learning.

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 12:07 p.m.

    Thanks for your interest in our video and project! The Tactile Picture Book Project (now dubbed ‘Build a Better Book’) aims to engage tweens and teens in STEM through the design and fabrication of multi-modal books. The project integrates storytelling with a variety of STEM tools and technologies, including paper engineering and mechanics, 3D design and printing, and circuitry and sound, and in the process, exposes learners to different STEM fields and careers.

    This is a new ITEST project and we are in the early stages of piloting our Makerspace workshops and collecting formative data. This spring, we have adapted the library workshops for implementation in a high school English class, which has served as a useful comparison to our work in informal library settings. This summer, we will be running extended classes at multiple library sites, and will be leading workshops with participants who are blind or visually impaired in collaboration with the National Federation for the Blind and the Colorado Center for the Blind.

    We are very interested in hearing your comments and questions, and in particular would love input from others working to engage youth in informal Makerspaces, as well as from those working to make technology more accessible.   

     
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  • Icon for: Janet Yowell

    Janet Yowell

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2017 | 12:12 p.m.

    Stacey, great video! Well done. I love this project, so awesome.

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 07:16 p.m.

    Thanks, Janet! We are only just getting started... but so far we are extremely excited about this project's potential to involve teens in making while at the same time, address a very real need. Thanks for checking out our video!

     
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  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Researcher
    May 15, 2017 | 12:24 p.m.

    Congrats on your approach to engage youth into a project that they have a knowledge base to be immediate "experts" as readers and visually-able peers to others.   Is there a location where we can view more of the products from this project? 

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 06:39 p.m.

    Hi Betsy,
    Thanks for your interest in our project. This is a relatively new project but you can view additional photos from our spring workshops on our Google Communities page. This spring, most of our workshops were run as 2-hour after-school or weekend workshops, so many students worked on short projects that could be completed within that window of time. Some members of our team have also been working with a high school class over the past month, and that has enabled students to tackle more in-depth projects (e.g., working in teams to produce a complete book, with multiple tactile/audio-enhanced pages). We are also looking forward to running more extended sessions this summer, to enable participants to work on their projects over a longer period of time, using a combination of different tools.

     

     
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  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Researcher
    May 15, 2017 | 08:47 p.m.

    This is very helpful info!  Although our projects were teacher ones, they varied like this and also some set up on Google early on.  We were lucky to have our evaluation team point to the philosophy of Developmental Evaluation to address the situation of short, long and varied projects that needed to have a united system. It would seem to me that many STEM projects would face this same problem, especially heading into ESSA.  How are you managing evaluation?

     
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  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 05:57 p.m.

    Hi Betsy,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with evaluation in these creative, fast-moving maker-space projects!  We are working with a program evaluator who is drawing on a range of data sources, including surveys and observations.  As a development team, we are also collecting rich qualitative information from the workshop participants, librarians, etc. that we are using to inform development for next years' enactments.  We hope to interweave analysis and findings so that we have a more robust understanding of the design and outcomes.  The work is very contextualized and situated, but we are seeing some themes emerging across contexts.  We will see if they are borne out by our more detailed analysis this summer! 

     

     
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  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Senior Advisor
    May 15, 2017 | 02:44 p.m.

    The project is very creative.  It would be great to see the work of the students for one complete book to demonstrate the power of what you are doing .  I am also wondering if selected publishers would be interested in co-sponsoring your work for one or more of their children's books.  

     
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  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 06:06 p.m.

    Dear Vivian,

    Our TPBP team has discussed the possibility of connecting with a publisher about featuring some 3D versions of books. We think we will have some excellent models at the end of the summer, given the opportunity to have more extended time in some of our maker camps.  We're just wrapping up working with a 9th grade English Language Arts teacher and her students on a project to design 3D versions of some well-known children's books, such as Eric Carle's 1,2,3 to the Zoo.  The students selected pages to represent the story, designed in TinkerCad, added braille text using Tom Yeh's app, and then layered in sound with Scratch and Makey-Makey.  They are in the process of being printed now -- the students know that the books will be delivered to families with children with visual impairments and have expressed appreciation for this opportunity to make something that is useful to others, while  learning some skills. 

     
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  • Icon for: Kathy Kennedy

    Kathy Kennedy

    PISA2 Program Manager
    May 15, 2017 | 06:43 p.m.

    This project effectively integrates STEM and language arts in a creative way. Have you received any feedback from children or their teachers using the books yet?

     

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 07:14 p.m.

    Great question, Kathy. This project builds on the work of the Tactile Picture Books Project (based in our PI Tom Yeh's lab at CU Boulder) and since its inception, the lab has worked with teachers of the visually impaired to gather feedback on its 3D-printed products. We have heard, for example, that 3D printed braille can be rough and unpleasant to read, and so we have been testing different approaches to address that issue. This spring, a partner high school class has been working to create tactile and audio-enhanced stories; once complete (very soon!), those will be sent to several families with children who are blind or visually impaired. We look forward to hearing their feedback and sharing that with other young designers on the project, in order to improve the quality of these books.

     
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  • Icon for: Thomas Kalil

    Thomas Kalil

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 09:19 p.m.

    Have you connected with Bookshare yet?  They might be an interesting partner.

     
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  • Icon for: Tom Yeh

    Tom Yeh

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 05:48 p.m.

    We haven't worked with Bookshare yet but we have been in contact with Benetech, the organization behind Bookshare. Benetech has been following our work closely. It would be great to explore the possibility whether the books produced by our students can be distributed through Bookshare's various channels.

     
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  • Icon for: Barbara Ericson

    Barbara Ericson

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 02:18 p.m.

    How are you involving low vision students in the project?  Is there a way that they can interact with the students who are building the multi-modal books before the non visually impared students build the books?  It would be great if all of the students (both visually impaired and not) could connect via audio (maybe Google hangouts).  

     
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    Sarah Carter
  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 06:11 p.m.

    We included collaboration with students who are visually impaired in our proposal -- we agree that this is so important to the success of the project.  This spring, Ann Cunningham and Abby Stangle, members of our team, have been working with adults and adolescents on tactile art, and have also been able to videotape a teen who is visualy impaired interacting with some 3D printed books to gain her perspective on how it is to process this kind of input (graphics and braille). We are hoping to build this aspect of collaboration for next year. 

     
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  • Icon for: Laura Farrelly

    Laura Farrelly

    COO
    May 16, 2017 | 03:35 p.m.

    I really like the connection between STEM and having a greater purpose to work - we see this being especially important to motivate girls to pursue STEM pathways. For example, in our research 82% of middle/high school girls say that having a greater purpose to their work is very important. Are you measuring any outcomes for those participating in the maker space activities?

     
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    Sarah Carter
  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 12:48 p.m.

    Hi Laura,

    Yes - this is one of the key things that excites us most about this project! In some of our early outreach collaborations with the Tactile Picture Books Project, we were encouraged by the degree to which the overall goal of the project inspired youth, particularly girls, to get involved. For example, several of the library Makerspaces we work with are accustomed to seeing majorities of boys in their 3D printing and technology workshops, and in our first set of pilot workshops we consistently had higher numbers of girls. We are now examining students' motivations for participating in the project as well as how the project's overall purpose influences their persistence over the long term.

    One thing we are planning to modify this summer and in the coming year is to strengthen the connection between the youth design teams and particular clients. For example, instead of designing for the project in general, teams will be designing for a particular child so that they can customize their design based on their client's interests. We're curious how this may affect the teens' interest and persistence in the project as well.

     
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    Sarah Carter
  • Icon for: David Webb

    David Webb

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 11:56 p.m.

    Great idea for a maker space/literacy project. Enjoyed the video!

     
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  • Icon for: Sarah Carter

    Sarah Carter

    Manager, STEM Media & Education
    May 17, 2017 | 05:51 p.m.

    Great project! I love the integration of STEM and literacy and art. Do you talk with the teens about the needs of blind/visually impaired youth before they design their project?

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 04:13 p.m.

    Hi Sarah,

    Yes, we do several introductory exercises to help our designers think more about the needs of their end user. Designing a tactile image that can be readily interpreted by someone who is blind or visually impaired is a very challenging design task! Before they start, we also share with them some guidelines and considerations. For example, a clear outline is very important, as is a way to orient oneself on the page; complicated images (for example, that involve multiple items grouped together) can be very challenging to interpret by touch.

    In the coming year, we’re hoping to connect our designers with specific ‘clients,’ so that they can learn more about their actual end user and ideally, hear feedback about their product from someone who is using it.

     
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    Sarah Carter
  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 06:17 p.m.

    Our 9th grade students highlighted the importance of some of our introductory sensory experiences (drawing with a sensation board with a mask on, while  listening to a story being read aloud; modeling with clay to tune in the shape, texture and size aspects of their animal, etc.).  We also shared a brief video of a young student reading one page with a crafted tactile illustration and braille text.  This had a big impact on students' understanding, as they keyed into the way that the child relied on the outline and salient features of the mouse to make sense of it. Just as important was to see how quickly the child's fingers scanned the braille as he read aloud.  It was important for these adolescents to understand that children can read braille with great fluency.  This motivated them to add braille to their picture book pages.

     
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  • Icon for: Anna Suarez

    Anna Suarez

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2017 | 12:22 a.m.

    Neat project! I loved students' enthusiasm and creativity in making books for the blind or visually impaired.  

    Have you involved students whom are blind or visually impaired to help create the books? Have you partnered with the DO-IT Center at Univ of WA? They have incredible resources that could be leveraged by your project.  

     

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 04:18 p.m.

    Thanks, Anna! I haven't connected with the DO-IT Center but I will certainly ask others on my team if they have - it looks like an impressive program with some really great resources. Thanks so much for that suggestion!

     
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  • Icon for: Bridget Dalton

    Bridget Dalton

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 06:19 p.m.

    I would love to hear from folks who are working with children and adolescents on tactile illustrations and storytelling (with 3D design and printing one approach).  We are seeing that crafted tactile books and 3D printed books offer very different affordances for design and expressions, while also involving different skills, tools, and materials.

     
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  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Researcher
    May 22, 2017 | 06:22 p.m.

    Hi,  Bridget, 

     Although we had 3D printers in the last month of the project, the most important for one district were the video cams from ICreate with stencils and cameras.  Just thinking of classic picturebooks, the kids building their visuals like that there are "picturebook codes" ...as described by William Moebius," Introduction to Picturebook Codes".  Some are very physical (screens, stairs)  and others refer to page positioning.  Either  would be interesting to introduce to your artists.

     
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    Kathy Schultz

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2017 | 10:56 p.m.

    This is a wonderful project. I look forward to following it as you move forward. 

    Kathy Schultz

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:08 p.m.

    Thanks for your interest in our project, Kathy! We look forward to sharing more as it progresses. 

     
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    Deborah Rowe

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 19, 2017 | 11:00 a.m.

    What an exciting project!  Your findings that girls are highly engaged is exciting.  It would be interesting to track the longer term school and career trajectories of students who have engaged in these maker spaces. Any plans for collecting data after the close of the various  makerspace experiences?  I love the way  you are putting the tools for multimodal composing/making into the hands of students, and also giving them an important real world purpose for their activities.

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:08 p.m.

    Thanks, Deborah, for watching our video! And yes- we're excited to see such strong interest in the project among girls. We're hoping to offer more opportunities for teens to engage with the project over a longer time, so that they can contribute to and complete different book projects. We are tracking their participation in project activities at the different library sites, and plan to stay in touch with participants so that we can hopefully gather information about their education plans and career aspirations. 

     
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  • Icon for: Anna Suarez

    Anna Suarez

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2017 | 01:47 p.m.

    Stacey, the Do-IT Center has NSF funding to support computer science K-12 projects.  Sheryl and Richard are an amazing resource and incredibly passionate about making STEM accessible to all.  I do recommend the you connect with them.  I know that they will love to learn about your project and how they may be able to support yours.  

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 06:03 p.m.

    Thanks, Anna! We will reach out to them soon to learn more!

     
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  • May 19, 2017 | 04:57 p.m.

    Excellent project.  I see so many potential outcomes and extensions of this work.  Literacy in STEM at younger ages, keeping students engages in the excitement of STEM learning when they have little presently encouraging them to pursue an interest in a STEM discipline.   Well done, and keep up the good work.  

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:02 p.m.

    Thanks for watching our video, Christopher, and for your interest in the project. We look forward to sharing more as we get further along with the project. 

     
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    Teagan Hanlon

    Undergraduate Student
    May 22, 2017 | 12:08 a.m.

    This is an amazing project you guys are working on! It is so important for student learning to be authentic and engaging! This project does just that. Not only are the students making a difference in their education, but they are able to help others in their community.  I was wondering if you have tried using 3D pens with your students? I know you have used the 3D printer, but I feel these pens allow students to work on their fine motor skills, as well as, their engineering skills.  I am very impressed with all that you have done and I would love to see how the students feel about getting this hands-on approach to teaching STEM and literacy.  Great work and I hope to see more from you next year.

     
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  • Icon for: Kathryn Penzkover

    Kathryn Penzkover

    Co-Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 10:15 a.m.

    Hello Teagan- Thanks for your comment and interest in our project. And, yes, we usually have the 3D pens out when we are doing our 3D printing workshop. It gives the students a more tangible and immediate feedback on how 3D printing works and allows them to create something right away. They are also nice because some students are more drawn to working on the computer and some are more drawn to working with their hands.

     
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  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:00 p.m.

    Yes, the 3D pens have definitely been a hit with the teens! We've seen participants use the pens to create 3D objects/sculptures, as well as add additional detail to 3D printed pages and create tactile outlines of illustrations. 

     
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