Palouse Discovery Science Center: A Promising Practice in Science Learning for Everyone

DO-IT Factsheet #303
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Stem/articles?303

The [1]Palouse Discovery Science Center in Pullman, Washington, is working hard to ensure that all members of the community, including those with disabilities, can access science exploration exhibits, programs, and events.

Through funding from an AccessSTEM [2] Minigrant, the Science Center purchased equipment to make it possible for young children to participate in hands-on activities that take place in their Little Learners Lab. Items included accessible tables and chairs that allow children with mobility impairments to more easily participate in the Lab activities. These items were also made available for general use as an integrated part of the Lab setup.

Other purchases included handheld digital microscopes and a portable ramp. The microscopes are available for students with a wide range of abilities and disabilities to use in the exploration of small objects. They also make it possible to project images of small objects onto a large screen during school programs and demonstrations. The ramp allows wheelchair users to access exhibits that require a higher vantage point.

The accessibility project of the Palouse Discovery Science Center is a promising practice in responding to recognized importance of making their science programs accessible to all visitors. Staff at this Center have also shown that by providing a few simple accommodations, children and adults with disabilities can fully participate in science exploration activities.

For more information about the Palouse Discovery Science Center, visit their website at http://www.palousescience.org/.

AccessSTEM [3] mingrants were funded under The Alliance for Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (AccessSTEM, Research in Disabilities Education award # HRD-0227995).

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