I have been working with the Alchemie team -- founded by a former chemistry teacher, Julia Winter -- for a number of years. Trying out their learning tools for chemistry, giving feedback, and generally brainstorming new ideas for chemistry instruction.
They have been working on a new project over the last year, named Kasi, which delivers sound-based feedback to students as they learn with tactile pieces on a magnetic whiteboard. The goal is to build an accessible learning system that helps ALL students learn, and is particularly important for those with visual impairments.
Video: Kasi - Make learning a tactile and touchable experience, Alchemie YouTube Channel (accessed 5/3/2021)
You can see how the Kasi system works in the video above, with Dr. Hoby Wedler, a completely blind PhD chemist. (By the way, Kasi is the Finnish word for hand and that is where the name comes from.)
This work has been funded by the Department of Education, and because of this funding the team does educational research with teachers and students as the system is being built, to make sure that it improves learning outcomes. I was involved in the first stage of that research last fall, when they had built an early prototype of the system. Julia reached out to me because she had referenced my previous ChemEdX blog post about using magnets for modeling chemistry in her initial grant proposal!
Alchemie is planning to extend the Kasi project in their next grant to four new interactives for high school chemistry, which will include chemical equations, polarity, intermolecular forces, and limiting reactions.
They also have earned a new grant that uses the interactives and computer vision algorithms to assist Blind/Low-Vision students outside of class, by creating methods for students to study diagrams from textbooks using the tactile pieces.
A key piece of the research is having sighted students (in both high school and college) use the corresponding digital interactive learning tools to gather information on how students solve problems. These interactions are collected anonymously and with no charge to schools or students as part of the research. If interested in trying out these new web-based tools and working with the Alchemie team, you can either join the Kasi Learning Facebook Group to stay up-to-date with the project or email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds.
Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. Use a model to predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system.