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News: Thursday, May 20th, 2021

Spotlight on Learning: Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology

Rémi Wauthy, Makerspace 9 

This project was run in collaboration with Science 9 and English 9. The overarching driving question for this interdisciplinary project was: What does it mean to have a disability in 2020? More specific to Makerspace we looked at the following: How can we use technology to improve someone's life? Students engaged in a period of research and empathetic observation to identify design opportunities, brainstormed various solutions, and prototyped their designs using a 3D printer. After several design iterations, students presented their ideas in the form of a Pecha Kucha.

Teacher Reflection

This project was meaningful and impactful for the students as they focused on designing something that would help someone else. Furthermore, they had to put themselves in the user’s shoes to discover potential design opportunities. Designs varied greatly as each group had a unique focus.  They ranged from a necklace with a distance sensor attached for someone with vision impairment to a pencil holder for someone with severe arthritis. An improvement to this project would be to allow time for several 3D printed iterations.

Student Reflection

I enjoyed the Rick Hansen Project because it gave me the opportunity to create something that could make a difference in someone’s life. It opened my eyes that even a simple design can make a big difference. My group redesigned an XBOX game controller for someone with only one arm. We were able to 3D print our design and test it out on a real controller.