Alchemie is working to build Kasi a new learning system that combines physical objects and computer vision technology to provide a multi-sensory exploration of the microscopic world of chemistry.
Kasi will immerse students in hands-on experiences for various subjects, starting with chemistry. The common lack of prior knowledge form everyday experiences and the visual nature of the subject makes chemistry challenging to learn, especially for blind and visually impaired (BVI) students. Kasi is critically important for those students because they only have touch and sound to make sense of the sub-microscopic world of chemistry.
Nicole Kada, Alchemie's Blind Consultant, has been vital in the development of KASI. Learn more about her by visiting her Youtube Channel and Twitter.
Here is a sneak peek of our development with Nicole Kada, one of the accessibility consultants working on this project.
Each Kasi piece has embossed chemical symbols and braille for accessibility. Bonds and lone pair pieces are made with concave sides to fit snugly against the atom during learning activities. This feature allows students to manipulate the chemical structure smoothly as they are guided by prompts from the Kasi system.
The goal of this project is to create an accessible system where BVI students learn alongside their sighted peers without a need for additional tools. By designing a system that can be used by all students, the cost to the BVI student is kept affordable. Most BVI students are more likely to receive instruction in mainstream classes, Kasi helps to build inclusiveness and confidence for BVI students and increase academic persistence in STEM courses.
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