Science, technology, engineering, and math classes are more than just a passing craze in the field of education. Viewed through the lens of serving the community, STEM classes provide students the opportunity to put their skills learned in STEM class to good use by improving the lives of others. The guys over at appendTo shared the following story of one student as an example.
Fox2Detroit.com described the excitement a Michigan mom felt after being the recipient of a prototype stroller adaption that fit on her wheelchair in September 2015. The mom was able to take her baby out for a walk like other parents for the first time. After the mom was accidentally shot when she was five years old by another child playing with a gun, Sharina Jones became a paraplegic.
But that hasn’t stopped her from living an active life, and as the guinea pig for the wheelchair adapted stroller invented by 16 year-old senior high school student at University of Detroit Jesuit High School Alden Kane, she is able to take her child out for a walk independently. In cooperation with the University of Detroit Mercy and his STEM class at high school, he was able to put his emerging engineering talents to good use in helping the community.
Kane stated that the first priority was to make the adaptation safe for the baby, but the parent in the chair has to be able to operate the invention independently as well. The carrier adaptation snaps on to the wheelchair, and then the infant’s car seat fits safely inside the carrier.
The prototype took six months of design and hard work, but the work has paid off. Kane wants to make his design even more efficient and hopes to apply for a patent.
If STEM classes can help students like Kane get started on a path to a career in STEM, they should be available to every student in every school. The innovation and creativity of students unleashed in STEM classes can make a positive impact on the surrounding community and provide students with real-world experience in their chosen STEM fields.