Five Visually Impaired Students Going to Space Camp - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Five Visually Impaired Students Going to Space Camp

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YAKIMA, Wa -  Five visually impaired students from school districts across the Yakima Valley will have the chance to reach for the stars. Educational Service District 105 is sending these students to a space camp for the visually impaired, or blind in Huntsville, Alabama.

The camp began 17-years ago, but this is the first time students here in the valley will be going.  It's in late September.  They'll be there for five days; getting hands on-experience, similar to the training astronauts go through.

One student who will be going on the trip says space camp will give her a chance to experience the next frontier even if she can't see it.

Dani Kuehn looks like any other seventh grader at Naches Middle School. And she is... excepting for one difference.

"I can only see light, no color," says Kuehn.

She was born almost completely blind.  She's never seen the stars, the planets or astronauts in space.

"This is the website for the Space Camp For Interested Visually Impaired Students," says Denise Robinson, the vision specialist for ESD 105. Robinson organized the trip to the space camp for Dani Kuehn and four other students from the Yakima, Sunnyside and Cle-Elum/Roslyn school districts.

"For blind students, science and math are the most difficult thing to get across because they are so visual," says Robinson.

Now they will be able to experience what space is really like.  At one point during the camp, they'll go on a ride where they feel g-force.

That's something Dani Kuehn is really looking forward to. "I know I'll get to ride one of those thing-a-mah-jiggers," she says laughing, "It''ll be fun i know that."

Five students are going to the camp this year, but Robinson hopes to send more in the future. 

It's about 700-dollars to send one student to the camp, with airfare and hotel, it's a total of $1,400 dollars a student.

ESD 105 received a private donation to help pay for travel.  They want to encourage more donations so more students can go in the future.  

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