The teens created four innovative “little rooms” for blind or visually impaired children using science, technology, engineering and mathematics
While the 2020-2021 school year has come to a close at schools around the Valley, one group of Gilbert students’ homework will have a lasting impact.
“We’re thankful the Foundation for Blind Children gave us the opportunity to complete this project”, says Gilbert Classical Academy student Chase Guymon.
Chase Guymon, Kyler Kalkman, Joy Chen & Erica Jiang completed a service project for FBC as part of a STEM service learning class. The class required the teens to use science, technology, engineering and mathematics to complete a project that would serve their community in partnership with and funded by Arizona State University’s EPICS program. “When Kyler called, I told him the Foundation for Blind Children has had an engineering project on the back burner for some time. We need your help,” says FBC’s CEO Marc Ashton.
The students created “little rooms” for blind or visually impaired children to play. The cubes, crafted out of PVC pipes, are adorned with various toys and textures to allow for sensory and tactile play. “The little rooms teach young children to actively engage in their environment. It helps them to understand where they are in space and how to find items in relation to where they are. It also teaches cause and effect through play”, explains FBC therapist Carrie Vogiatzis.
Over the span of the four students’ class, they coordinated with FBC, created a unique design and gathered materials. Finally, assembly was completed in one day. “What makes these little rooms unique is the collapsible feature”, says Vogiatzis. The students added hinges to their design so the “little rooms” can easily be assembled for play or folded for storage. Ashton adds, “Kyler, Chase, Erica and Joy’s “little room” design is smart yet simple and affordable. Now, FBC can replicate the innovative design for any of our 225 blind babies that need one.”
Support for the Foundation for Blind Children and its programs comes in many shapes and sizes. Unique and thoughtful contributions like the Gilbert Classical Academy’s students’ donation make FBC’s students’ progress possible. Thank you.