In a truly innovative approach to problem solving one elementary school had student design musical navigation for a blind classmate, so that he can navigate the hallways through musical cues.
At Ponderosa Elementary, Alex Owens will soon navigate the halls of his school with ease. Fourth grade Challenge students in Sarah Windisch’s class are building small machines with soundboards that are triggered by vibration. As second grader Alex walks around the school, he will be able to tap the boards with his cane, which will trigger a favorite song. Alex has a remarkable memory, and will be able to remember the location by the song.
“The idea is that by placing these devices, each playing a different song, around our school, he will be able to create a map in his head using musical cues,” Windisch said.
Alex’s dad, Bill Owens, says that the project is “absolutely unbelievable.”
“This is a new concept as far as the blind goes,” he said. He believes that such technology is helping blind people in cities.
“Our whole goal is to have Alex be independent. We want him to be successful, and the way he’s going to be successful is to be independent. Blindness is just another way of seeing.”