Oral-based Molecular Models for Educating Visually Impaired Students
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Historically, it has been difficult for blind students to pursue careers in biochemistry-related fields. The reasons for this under representation are complex, but partially caused by: (i) the preponderance of visual-oriented teaching tools, and (ii) the required manual operation of laboratory instrumentation. Upon researching the following: the blind and their nearly insurmountable barrier in studying advanced topics, the dearth of proper instrumentation to instruct the blind, and the heightened ability of the visually impaired to learn with tactile stimulation (both of the hands and lingual nerve)—I, along with Dr. Bryan Shaw and Alireza Abdolvahabi, am attempting to help them develop a set of appropriately-sized 3D models of important molecules. The first run of molecules will be different conformations of hemoglobin and calmodulin, which will be donated to the Dallas Independent School District for proof of concept.