P.O. BOX 2120




September 30, 2005




Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



2005 Teaching Earth and Space Science the Special Way Conference, November 3-4, Peninsula Workforce Development Center, Hampton



The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), the Virginia School for the Deaf, Blind, and Multi-Disabled (VSDBMH) in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Education and other groups extend an invitation to staff members in your school division to attend the Teaching Earth and Space Science the Special Way Conference. This professional development opportunity is aimed at elementary and secondary educators and support staff responsible for teaching Virginias Earth/Space Systems Standards of Learning (SOL) curriculum to students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing. This conference will be held November 3-4, 2005, at the Peninsula Workforce Development Center in Hampton.


This conference will build on last years successful Space Science the Special Way Conference. Many new speakers have been invited to present a variety of programs, research, and assistive technologies; some popular speakers also will return to provide updates on related topics.


Mr. Mike Kersjes, president of Space is Special, Incorporated, and author of A Smile As Big As the Moon, will be one of the keynote speakers. Mr. Kersjes will present his experiences in working with special needs students at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Dr. Harry Lang of the Rochester Institute of Technology and National Technical Institute for the Deaf, will deliver the keynote address regarding his thirty years of experience in teaching physics and mathematics to deaf and hard-of- hearing students.


Other speakers, including NASA scientists, researchers, educators, and an NSF representative, will offer a variety of concurrent sessions to participants. Sessions also will be conducted by members of the Department of Education.


We hope that you will encourage special educators, science educators, technology specialists, and other staff members to attend this dynamic and interactive conference.


Please visit the Conference website at for more information and to register. If you have questions about the conference or need further information, please contact Gail Henrich (, Vision Program, Norfolk Public Schools, at (757) 547-8095, or Chris Carter (, VSGC, at (757) 766-5210 . If you are a TTY user, please use Virginia Relay.