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Engineering Students Create Power Wheels for Children with Disabilities
Science teacher Mr. Bryce Ormiston, Engineering and Design Honors Program Coordinator Mr. Robert Zdankiewicz and four students collaborated with the organization Go Baby Go, a non-profit research program.
The program is designed to provide children, ages birth to three years old with special needs, with an enjoyable, temporary wheelchair alternative. The cars, which cost a total of $200 a piece, are modified to meet each individual child's needs.
Car designs range from Power Wheels® convertibles to all-terrain toy car models. Although the models are the same as what is offered in stores, they are adapted for children with wide-ranging conditions, from Down Syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy to health needs that require the aid of a ventilator.
"My favorite parts of the project were the process involved in adapting the car and being able to witness the impact of our work. Despite being unfamiliar with adapting toy cars, it was an amazing learning experience for all of us. I really enjoyed learning a new skill, such as how to use tools that I had not known how to use before to successfully recircuiting the car itself. Soon after we finished the car, the child we created the car for walked in with his family, and his reaction made the entire experience priceless. His face was filled with awe as he realized that a car was made just for him, and a car that he could drive all by himself. The experience reinforced how important our day's work was, as it impacted the boy and his family in such a special way," shared Reagan Bushok '20.