Through a competitive, multi-year contract with The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Boston University (Robert Hoffmeister, Principal Investigator) is collaborating with CRT (Jeanne Reis, Project Director) to develop an online American Sign Language STEM Concept Learning Resource, ASL Clear. The resource offers a growing collection of complete STEM units in ASL. Each unit contains a micro-lecture associated with a set of STEM terms, definitions and examples. Unique ASL‐feature search functionality, made up of handshapes, movements, and locations, allows students to access all content using their knowledge of ASL. By moving from a vocabulary-centered focus to the level of concept-centered content development, our model presentations of STEM content and vocabulary in ASL have the potential to enhance academic discourse in the classroom and increase the sharing of contextualized STEM terms in ASL. ASL Clear is now available at ASLClear.org. CRT provides professional development in using the ASL Clear to support STEM education. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our professional development offerings for teachers, interpreters, and other STEM education professionals.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are dynamic and ever-growing areas of learning and employment. Fostering greater engagement in STEM learning among deaf and hard of hearing K–12 students has the potential to increase the number of deaf people entering STEM professions.
The ASL Clear project team is a group of Deaf and heritage ASL-speaking STEM experts in education, research and industry who seek to open the same doors of opportunity for others. Our materials model rich language and instruction in ASL, and present STEM content in ways that can be readily accessed and understood by deaf children of various ages. Our content complements state and national curricula, and will make it possible to build instructional and assessment tools expressly designed for bilingual students in ASL and English. The bilingual theme is woven into the design of the ASL Clear application as well. Our video and technical teams have collaborated in the development of innovative ASL-based and visually motivated search and navigation functionality, as well as English text-based access to all materials. This allows different audiences to independently and easily search for information: students wishing to learn about the exciting and engaging world of STEM, and parents and teachers wishing to provide critical early language, thinking skills, and learning experiences to deaf children.
* These topics are fully released to Clear.