Education Matters: Students design and build boots for peers with medical conditions

Education

SHERWOOD, Ark.– Seventh and eighth graders at Sylvan Hills Middle School in Sherwood are getting hands on in a Design and Modeling class. The classroom project is helping students with specific medical conditions.

“I can help people my age with their condition and I can help them be more comfortable,” says Nicholas Johnson, student.

They are creating foot orthosis boots to help students with cerebral palsy and spastic hemophilia.

“We’re just making a boot to help autistic kids who walk on their tippy toes, like spastic hemophilia is a restriction so they can’t do what we can do,.you know how we stand flat footed,” says Janeya Whittaker, student.

Using materials in class, Janeya Whittaker and her team created a prototype based on who the boot is designed for. It’s all part of Project Lead The Way, a non-profit organization that empowers grade school students to solve real-world challenges.

“It really brings the projects off the table if you will, to allow them to see the good that they can do out in the community,” says Andrew Jones, STEM Educator.

Stem Educator, Andrew Jones, says it’s all about getting his students to make an impact outside the classroom and do more than read a lesson out of a text book. Once the boot is complete, the person students made it for will be able to come in and test it out.

“Would it help them with their arch or keeping their heel down? Was it comfortable to where a client would be able to wear it more than just that experiment?” says Jones.

The final product? A lesson that’s touching many hearts.

“It is really personal because I know I am helping in a type of way with autism so it makes me happy,” says Whittaker.

Project Lead The Way is done in schools across the nation. Some things kids have been creating are tablet games, robots and therapeutic toys.

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