Innovators Developing Accessible Tools for Astronomy (IDATA)

The IDATA project, formally known as, “Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science,” is developing software to enable blind and visually impaired (BVI) students to engage in astronomy data collection and analysis using the Skynet Junior Scholars (SJS) portal to the Skynet remote telescope network. Groups of sighted and visually impaired high school students will work with project staff to engage in a user-centered design/ universal design (UCD/ UD) process to develop and test software modifications to increase accessibility of the site. Students learn computational thinking (including elements of the Quorum programming language) and about the role of computation in scientific exploration, as well as astronomy content. SEEC’s research focuses on these learning goals, as well as student interest, sense of efficacy, science+computing identity, and their beliefs about who can do science and computing.

Clients and Collaborators:

Associated Universities Inc. (AUI), Yerkes Observatory at the University of Chicago, University of North Carolina (UNC), University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV)


National Science Foundation - STEM+C (DRL1640131)

Our Role:

Co-PI, Education Research Partner

Project Staff:

Jim Hammerman, Eric Hochberg, Santiago Gasca

Project Website:

2019 STEM for All Video Showcase