Psychology students participate in blindfold project

With a limited sense of vision, students rely on other senses to navigate the school


By Avery Liby

Being guided down upper A hall, sophomore Asilya Johnson puts her arms out. At the beginning of second quarter, psychology students participate in interactive project around the school.

Sammie Volkamer, JAG editor in chief

As the second quarter begins, psychology classes participate in a project that assesses the way humans rely on their five senses.

Working in groups of three or four, students take turns being blindfolded while navigating the hallways. The members in the group that aren’t blindfolded direct them to 10 different locations and record where the blindfolded student thinks they are.

To incorporate sensation and perception, the topics students are learning in class, psychology teacher Kirsten Crandall implements the blindfolded project.

“We’ve been talking about how out of all five of our senses, vision is the one that a person, if they have all five of their senses… [relies] on the most,” Crandall said. “I’m wanting them to experience what it’s like to not have vision because we kind of take it for granted, just how easy our world is to operate with it.”

By Avery Liby
After being blindfolded by junior Emma Moore, junior Aryanna Ouellette is spun around for the activity.

In order to do this project, Crandall has to require students follow strict rules. They are only allowed to go to areas around the school that they can always go to, they aren’t allowed to leave the building, they can’t disrupt any classrooms and they have to be back to the classroom on time.

“At this time of the year it’s always nice to kind of get out of the classroom and just mix it up a little bit,” Crandall said. “It’s always fun to hear stories about teachers or administrators or counselors that if they kind of get a break in their day they can come out and mess with the students a little bit. It’s always fun to extend our learning outside of the classroom walls.”

Sophomore Asilya Johnson felt afraid of the unknown when being blindfolded.

“I had no idea where I was. Someone could have hurt me at one point,” Johnson said. “I kept running into walls. It’s really scary because you have no idea where you are unless you’re really good with directions, but I’m obviously not.”

According to Crandall, students are able to realize the shock of how much they rely on their sight.

“They’re experiencing just how difficult it actually is to do something that you’ve done every day of your life for possibly four years, which is navigate Mill Valley,” Crandall said. “They’re noticing just how much their other senses are heightened. They’re learning how they’d actually been creating sensory memories of the school, other than vision, but they didn’t have to rely on them until they didn’t have vision.”

After experiencing no sight through the blindfolded project, Johnson realized how much she relies on her sense of sight.

“Sight is very very important and without it a lot of things are hard,” Johnson said. “We need to take it not as much as for granted as we do.”

The uniqueness of the project pushes Crandall to keep doing it year after year.

“My favorite thing about this project is that it gives the students the opportunity to get a little bit more hands on with some of the concepts that we’re talking about,” Crandall said. “It also ties in the whole school.”

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