Recently, several students from Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind’s (AIDB) Alabama School for the Blind (ASB) took a trip to the David J. Sencer CDC Museum in Atlanta – an excursion packed with various educational exhibits.
When ASB Career Coach Shelley Kaler started planning this trip in August, she was surprised to learn that ASB would be the first school for the blind to ever visit the museum. Not only did ASB students learn from them, the CDC Museum learned from ASB! The museum staff quickly began working on ways to improve the experience for the ASB students who are visually impaired (VI) or blind. In fact, five ASB students were selected as participants in a pilot tour recently created for VI individuals!
The CDC Museum tour began with four short videos that explained how CDC scientists led an investigation that discovered Legionnaires disease, the battle of obesity in the U.S., the ongoing efforts to eradicate polio and the study of how humans, animals and the environment interact in the spread of Ebola.
Autism: Little Things Can Be Huge is one of the two temporary exhibits visited by the students. This exhibit provided an up close look at children with Autism and the results of life during and after therapy. They were able to capture and celebrate many milestones through this study, many of the ASB students were especially excited about this exhibit.
The tour ended in the museum classroom. Students were given the opportunity to try on safety suits (hazmat suits) that CDC scientists wear in the Bio-safety Level 4 laboratories. The weight and length of time it took to suit up surprised the students. In fact, the tour guide mentioned how few breaks the scientists take once they are suited. This was probably the most exciting and unique opportunity of the tour!
The purpose of this specific trip was to introduce various STEM related careers. As students learn about the 16 National Career Clusters, Kaler wanted the students to become aware of the possibilities of options that surround them.
Said Kaler, “I hope that a seed was planted and the students realize their futures are limitless!”