Shared Signing Science Planning Project

October 1st, 2008 - September 30th, 2010 | PROJECT

The Shared Signing Science Planning Project will develop a prototype of a web-based Signing Science Pictionary. The prototype will be piloted to families and caretakers of deaf and hard of hearing children to study the feasibility and effectiveness of the learning technology and identify the activities that are most effective in helping deaf children learn life science at informal science centers. The project team will also compile a dictionary of science terms with the intention of including the terms in a full version of the Pictionary. The final Pictionary will be comprehensive; including scientific terms from life, physical, Earth, and space science and will be presented in animated sign language accompanied by written explanations and pictorial illustrations. The project will also produce a video guide with a description of activities that parents can implement with their children. The planning project will result in a prototype with 100 life science terms of species found at the three informal science centers the children and parents will visit to test the prototype. These informal sites are hands-on and exploratory featuring marine organisms and a range of terrestrial flora and fauna to touch and interact with. To prepare for the site visits, parents and caretakers of deaf or hard of hearing children will be taught how to use the Pictionary with children through a Flash-based movie that introduces the interactive features and assists the parents in engaging with their children in three activities using the signing scientific vocabulary. The preparatory vocabulary work with the parents and children will lay the educational foundation for the visits to the informal science education sites. Families will test the initial project prototypes with deaf children using a control group for comparison. Pre-tests will be used to assess childrens' vocabulary before use of the Pictionary. Follow up tests will test knowledge of the new words and will include field observations of children in museums, zoos, and farms, where the new terms will come to life in corresponding exhibits. The results of the ongoing evaluation will be compiled into a guide for other developers of similar materials for the deaf community, and will impact the development of the final project. The project will broaden participation of an underserved audience in STEM learning and generate new knowledge about how to effectively integrate emerging learning technologies into exhibits and programs for deaf learners.The project team includes TERC and Vcom3D and collaborators from Gallaudet University Regional Center at Northern Essex Community College, the College of the Holy Cross, and the Learning Center for Deaf Children. Participating informal science education institutions are represented by the EcoTarium, Davis' Farmland, and the Stone Zoo. These partnerships provide the necessary expertise and support for the proposed project to have significant impact on advancing STEM learning in informal settings for children with hearing disabilities through the use of assistive learning technologies.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Shared Signing Science Pictionary Planning Project (SSSPP): Evaluation Report

Team Members

Judy Vesel, Principal Investigator, TERC Inc
Jason Hurdich, Co-Principal Investigator, Vcom3D


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0754587
Funding Amount: 74893


Access and Inclusion: People with Disabilities
Audience: Evaluators | Families | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Education and learning science | Life science | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Games | Simulations | Interactives | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media