This week we are delighted to have a guest blog from Eve - a Senior Officer in our Learning & Engagement team - with some exciting updates to resources used in our Schools workshop programme.
“Over the past six months we have been working with Grayson Thomas - a placement student from the Geoscience Outreach & Engagement course at The University of Edinburgh - to create some amazing new resources for our schools’ programme. As part of Dynamic Earth’s aim to make our Learning Programme as accessible as possible, Grayson has been working on improving elements of our Rainforest workshop for pupils with visual impairments.
In our ‘Journey into the Rainforest’ workshop, pupils explore what it would be like to visit a rainforest using pictures to learn which animals live in the different rainforest layers. Learners also study real rainforest specimens to discover some of the unique adaptations these animals have evolved. However, these insect specimens are very delicate and cannot be handled, which makes them inaccessible to those with limited vision - so we worked together to create an alternative!
Grayson created 3D printed tactile maps, copies of our real insect specimens (which are much more durable and can be handled by pupils!) plus a textured model of the rainforest layers. They also worked with The Royal Blind School to translate all of our written labels and information for this workshop into braille!
We are so proud of Grayson’s hard work on this project and our partnership with The University of Edinburgh. This project has vastly increased the accessibility of our schools’ programme, allowing for visually impaired students to attend a rainforest workshop and get a very similar experience to their sighted peers.”
If you’d like any more information on our Schools & Education programme, check out the Learning section on our website.
We also have a wide range of resources available to other guests visiting the Dynamic Earth attraction – the centre is fully wheelchair accessible, we have audio guides for visually impaired guests and gallery transcripts for those who have impaired hearing. We have also created an Accessibility Toolkit to aid guests who may find the immersive, sensory experience of Dynamic Earth challenging. We aim to be as accessible as possible to all – please do visit the dedicated pages on our website, and if you have any other suggestions for improvements we can make, we’d love to hear from you!