Two children with special needs received electric vehicles through the Variety – KC GoBabyGo! program, through Rockhurst University.
Students from the university’s Engineering and Physical Therapy departments teamed up with middle school students from STEAM Studio, a special learning environment located within the architectural studio of Gould Evans, to turn motorized toy cars into mobility vehicles designed to fit each child’s individual needs.
Existing research suggests an important link between physical mobility and cognitive development; when children are able to move around they are empowered to explore, make decisions and become more independent. However, there are no commercially available power wheelchairs for children under the age of three, and most traditional mobility aides cost thousands of dollars.
GoBabyGo! is a global project to increase exploration in kids with special needs. These modified toy cars will provide the two children with potentially their first taste of mobility and independence, as well as the ability to keep up while playing with other kids.
STEAM Studio provides a flexible learning environment for local youth to come explore STEAM-related fields and “Design Thinking” concepts. Students from Rockhurst High School, students from the Department of Education at Rockhurst University, and Gould Evans associates volunteer time to work with kids on robotics, science experiments, fashion design and architectural design.