The Jeuns

Astronomy Project for Visually Impaired Children in Portsmouth

April 29, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Astronomy Project for Visually Impaired Children Nominated for Award

The Tactile Universe team at the University of Portsmouth is a finalist for a Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) See Differently Award for their innovative work in making astronomy accessible to visually impaired children. Led by blind astronomer Dr. Nicolas Bonne, the team uses 3D printers to create models of galaxies that allow students to touch and feel how galaxies evolve.

Dr. Bonne, who was born with a visual impairment due to retinopathy of prematurity, is passionate about inspiring young people to pursue science and feel confident in their abilities to do so. The Tactile Universe project has gained recognition for its impact, with features on the BBC’s Sky at Night program and workshops conducted in schools for visually impaired students and their sighted peers.

The team’s efforts have landed them a nomination in the ‘Design for Everyone’ category, which acknowledges those dedicated to understanding and addressing the challenges faced by blind and partially sighted individuals. The winners of the award will be announced at a ceremony in London on Tuesday, May 21st.

This initiative has not only received critical acclaim but has also made significant strides in promoting inclusivity in science education. It serves as a shining example of how innovation and creativity can break down barriers and ensure that all individuals, regardless of their abilities, have access to the wonders of the universe.

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