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Media Alert

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960
Fax: 443-287-9920

July 30, 2007
JHU Contact: Phil Sneiderman
Federation Contact: John G. Paré Jr.
410-659-9314, ext. 2371

200 Blind Teens to Attend Sci-Tech 'Slam'
at Johns Hopkins

Four-Day Event Will Include Rocket and Weather Balloon
Launches, Gecko Lessons, Windmills

WHEN: The National Federation of the Blind Youth Slam will take place Tuesday, July 31, through Friday, Aug. 3, 2007.
WHERE: Instruction and social activities will occur at The Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. A concluding Youth March for Independence on Friday afternoon begins at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. While attending the Youth Slam, students will reside in Johns Hopkins residence halls.
WHAT: In one of the largest events of its kind, 200 blind and low-vision high school students from more than 40 states will converge on the Johns Hopkins University campus to take part in specially designed non-visual science and technology experiments and workshops. Blind adult mentors from throughout the nation will also participate. The goal is to use innovative teaching techniques to enable young blind people to complete science and technology projects and to encourage them to pursue college degrees and careers in these fields. Students will learn to build rockets, collect audible data from weather balloon sensors and sense how live geckos climb walls without falling. Other classes will focus on astronomy, biology, robotics and environmental chemistry.
WHO: The event was conceived and launched by the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind, the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. Graduate students and faculty members from the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins, supported by National Science Foundation funds, prepared most of the educational components, adapting lessons so that they could be presented in a non-visual way.
WHY: Some of the event's goals are:

> To demonstrate that the blind are capable of succeeding in fields, such as science and technology, which are falsely believed to be closed to them.
> To boost the self-confidence of blind youth in their ability to succeed in whatever endeavors they choose.
> To expose blind youths to positive blind role models from a variety of backgrounds and professions.

MEDIA COVERAGE: Media coverage is invited. Please contact John Paré at the National Federation of the Blind or Phil Sneiderman at Johns Hopkins. Contact information is listed above.

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