S1-07: Overcoming adversity in the science classroom: A conversation with Joe McCormick

science connections podcast S1E07 cover photo with Joe Mccormick

In this episode, Eric sits down with Joe McCormick, director of engineering at SplitSpot. Joe shares about the experience of losing his central vision in high school and the transition into college at Harvard. Eric and Joe chat about self advocacy within the classroom, and scaffolds that worked for Joe as he learned how to navigate the world with his disability. Eric also learns about beep baseball, the adapted national pastime for the blind and visually impaired, and the importance its community for Joe’s journey to become an engineer. Lastly, Joe shares about accessibility tools, college acceptance, and how to motivate students to love computer science. Explore more from Science Connections by visiting our main page.

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What teachers say

What Joe McCormick says about science

“Being disabled, it’s like trying to find someway to be flexible and find some workaround, because there’s always some way to get there, it’s just going to be a little bit different and little out of the box.”

- Joe McCormick
Director of Engineering at SplitSpot

Meet the guest

Joe McCormick the Director of Engineering at Splitspot. In his senior year of high school, Joe started to lose his vision due to a rare genetic condition, Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON). Rather than letting that stop him, Joe went on to study Computer Science at Harvard University, advocating for the support he needed. Joe is heavily involved in beep baseball, an adapted national pastime for the blind and visually impaired. He currently plays for the Boston Renegades in his spare time. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and son.

Joe McCormick headshot for Science Connections S1E07

About Science Connections

Welcome to Science Connections! Science is changing before our eyes, now more than ever. So…how do we help kids figure that out? We will bring on educators, scientists, and more to discuss the importance of high-quality science instruction. In this episode, hear from our host Eric Cross about his work engaging students as a K-8 science teacher. Listen here!