A qualitative study was conducted to understand how middle and high school students with visual impairments (VI) engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The Readiness Academy, a Project-Based Learning (PBL) intervention, was designed to provide a week-long, immersive, outdoor, and inquiry-based science education program to students with VI. We analyzed 187 photographs, camp associate intern notes, and researcher memos first using emotion coding, followed by process coding to structure initial codes and categories into seven research activities. We used axial coding as a secondary cycle coding method to determine four consistent themes across all research activities: apprenticeship, collaboration, accessibility, and independence. We found that the inclusion of purposeful accessibility, such as assistive technology and multisensory experiences, supported how students with VI engaged in STEM education. The findings reflect how students dynamically fulfilled roles as apprentices, collaborative members, and independent researchers within the program’s context of PBL and outdoor science education.
- Inclusive education
- Middle and high school science
- Project-based learning
- Visual impairment
ASJC Scopus subject areas