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'Touch the Earth' to display at Earth Day on National Mall
Date:4/19/2010

NASA will present the new tactile learning book, "Touch the Earth," on Monday, April 19, in the "NASA Village" tent at the Earth Day Celebration on the National Mall organized by the Earth Day Network. This will be the first public presentation of the book, published last month, with its authors and illustrators on hand to demonstrate its unique characteristics.

Touch the Earth takes a multimedia approach to teach middle school students about the Earth's biomes areas on Earth with similar climate, soil and vegetation - using sound and visual aids, tactile and colored graphics, large print and Braille. It was developed for Blind and Deaf users as well as students who learn best with a multimedia approach. Published with the support of NASA Headquarters' Office of Earth Science, Education programs, the book was developed by Elissa Levine, a soil scientist who recently retired from the Biospheric Sciences Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., science writer Amy Hansen, tactile graphic creator, Noreen Grice, geographer, Asad Ullah, and producer, Izolda Traktenberg.

"Much of the Earth science that we do at NASA uses remote sensing, which means measuring something about an object without actually being in contact with it. This book brings home the importance of being able to 'touch the Earth' in some way or another," said Eric Brown de Colstoun, Coordinator of Earth Science Education and Public Outreach at Goddard. "This message should resonate strongly with all audiences, including the visually and hearing challenged, on this 40th anniversary of Earth Day."

The book will be on display at the "NASA Village" along with two supplemental DVDs explaining more about the biomes on each continent. One DVD enhances the book's content with pictures and a signing avatar using American Sign Language to help students who are deaf and hearing impaired. The second DVD has the same enhanced content with pictures, voice and music.<
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Contact: Sarah Dewitt
Sarah.l.dewitt@nasa.gov
301-286-0535
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Source:Eurekalert

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