During the Summer of 2012 we were able to conduct preliminary tests of HMD’s with deaf children ages 7-‐17. Many of these were volunteers from EFY. Each subject watched a prepared video segment on the Earth, Sun and Moon, from Evans & Sutherland. They were accompanied by a translator, and ASL fluent facilitators and tech specialists. After these sessions were completed the subjects participated in a group discussion. We gained good insight and positive feedback. Once these sessions were finished I helped develop the coding system we would use in evaluating the videos, and analyzed the results.
In August I travelled with my Advisor to Philadelphia and we presented our Preliminary findings to the American Association of Physics Teachers in a poster session of their conference. The main purpose of this was to begin getting the word out to teachers, gather ideas and find potential collaborators. We made several good contacts at this meeting. My advisor also gave a talk on our project at the conference.
In the Fall of 2012 we had our first visits from JMS, a school for Deaf students based in Salt Lake City. We also had our first round of tests in the BYU Planetariums. These tests were also recorded and we had great success.
I also present our results from the summer sessions to Dr. Steve Feiner, a Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, who visited us to give a Colloquium talk to our Computer Science Department, and to learn about our project.
In January 2013 my advisor, Dr. Hintz, and I traveled to Long Beach to present our findings to the American Astronomical Society. We were pleasantly surprised to find a much greater response at this conference than we had expected. We made contacts with interested Professors from other Universities, and even some Planetarium Directors who have offered to allow us to conduct tests in their facilities, which would give us a wider testing pool.
Thanks to your generosity I have been able to gain great experience in research, analysis and presenting and publishing results. At conferences I made contacts with Professors who, upon seeing our work, have made me graduate school offers. Our project in continuing with an NSF grant and Dr. Hintz is currently writing a journal paper on the project. This grant has helped me academically and personally, as well as helped our study progress to aid Deaf students in their learning.