Jamie Principato in labBy Jim Scott

Jamie Principato wants to ensure that blind students can excel in science and engineering careers. So the CU undergraduate is parlaying her own experience in designing and building space instruments to help them get the training they’ll need.

Blind from birth, Principato developed a project called BLAST, which involves hands-on workshops for visually impaired high school and college students focused on providing a solid background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Her first workshop involved both electronics and the art of soldering. Now she’s part of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium (COSGC), a NASA-funded initiative that gives students at Colorado institutions, primarily undergraduates, a chance to design, build and fly space instruments and experiments.

Principato’s first COSGC project was in 2014, when she was the lead scientist on an experiment mounted on a high-altitude balloon to measure space radiation. “I want all students with disabilities like mine