Let's reach for the stars

Hubble Space Telescope booth
Ed tells Dr. Cristina Olivera, from the Space Telescope Science Institute, about the new ebook.

So Ed and I have started the new year right by taking a trip. We’re in Washington, DC for the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society. (These dudes have been getting together for a long time.)

Here’s the fun part: we’re showing off a cool new eBook that SAS is creating. Ed and the team are developing the eBook with some astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute – they are the people that run the Hubble Space Telescope. The project is funded by an Education and Public Outreach grant from NASA.

The name of the book is Reach for the Stars.  The target audience for the book is students ages 10-12, and it is being developed specifically for the iPad.

The book contains all sorts of stuff about how the universe began, how stars are born, and how they change over time. It will contain some brand-spanking new images of the Tarantula Nebula, the largest and most intense region of star formation in the Local Group of galaxies. It will also contain video interviews with some really cool scientists like Dr. Elena Sabbi. Dr. Sabbi is using the Hubble Space Telescope to study star formation and evolution. She is one of the co-authors of the book.

book cover for reach for the starsBut the best thing about Reach For the Stars is that it’s accessible to everyone. Ed and the team are using some cool new technology that allows students with visual impairments to perceive Hubble images using their fingers and ears as well as their eyes. The funny thing is that the team included the technology to help the students with visual impairments, but everyone else loves it because it creates a more engaging way to learn about science.

You’ll be able to download Reach for the Stars from the iBookstore during the summer of 2014, but stay tuned here for more juicy tidbits from behind the scenes.


About Author

Willie the Seeing Eye Dog

SAS Accessibility and Applied Assistive Technology

Willie the Seeing Eye dog has been part of the SAS Accessibility and Applied Assistive Technology team for four years. He helps Software Development Manager Ed Summers get around SAS Corporate Headquarters without breaking his neck. He plans to blog about his many adventures with Ed as they work to ensure that users of all abilities can succeed using SAS software.

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