This Instructional Design Document was generated as part of InfoUse's project entitled "An Internet-Based Curriculum on Math and Aeronautics for Children with Physical Disabilities" which was funded through a cooperative agreement with NASA. NASA's award, which previously was administered through the High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) Office as part of NASA's Information Infrastructure Technology and Applications (IITA) program, was given as one of eight such awards for developing new ways of teaching science, mathematics, engineering, and aeronautics through developing new Internet-based information technologies. Currently, the PlaneMath project is being funded through NASA's Learning Technologies Project (LTP).
The genesis of this project is based around two issues. The first issue came from an awareness that, around the 4th grade, current mathematics curricula are highly reliant on students' ability to use manipulables such as paper and pencil, calculators, or three-dimensional geometric models. Children with disabilities that affect their ability to manipulate objects (cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, specific hand/arm conditions, etc.) and who therefore find it difficult or impossible to use such manipulables are clearly at an academic disadvantage. The second issue came from the realization that physically disabled children may not consider or be prepared for career possibilities in aeronautics or the importance of mathematics in pursuing these careers. The Internet, with its multimedia and communication capabilities, holds great potential for allowing these issues to be addressed.
The program has the goal of portraying children and adults as bright, enthusiastic, and able to both assist and work with others, regardless of ethnicity, background, disability, gender, etc.