The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Feelin’ DNA

A loss of sight, never a loss of vision

Started by seed funding from APPLES Service Learning Program’s Robert E Byran Fellowship,  Feelin’ DNA has since been on a mission to ensure that even those who are visually impaired do not miss out on the wonders within STEM. They, in partnership with BeAM, create 3D-printed models of STEM concepts, captioned in braille, so that eager visually impaired students can learn through touch. A biomedical engineering class is also helping the team with the development of new code so that they can place these files on its website. By providing open-source code, Feelin’ DNA has been able to digitally expand across the nation.

This past summer, with a sponsorship from the Innovate Carolina Dreamers-Who-Do Program, Feelin’ DNA further established itself on the national stage by traveling to Baltimore and attending the Youth SLAM conference, which is organized by the National Federation of the Blind. The two student co-founders were given the opportunity to teach courses about what they do and how it is making impact. Greatly impressed by their work, Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai, the world’s first blind cancer geneticist, now mentors them and has even opened the door for the Feelin’ DNA team to present at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. The event draws an audience of nearly 2,000 people from around the world.

For more information about Feelin’ DNA’s work, read its success story.


“This problem is complex, and it’s not something that we can solve on our own. However, I believe we will make a difference by creating an accessible learning environment for those who have sight loss. Witnessing someone finally understanding a concept is what keeps me inspired.”

  • Rachael Hamm (BA ’18),  Feelin’ DNA Co-Founder