Parents School NewsGrade 9s Use Drafting Skills to Help Kids with Disabilities
Nick Janzen’s Semester 1 Grade 9 drafting students took part in three Youth Making Change workshops, putting their drafting skills into action to help children with disabilities. The workshops complimented our school’s mission and vision to help students grow to be compassionate community members.
Makers Making Change are committed to achieving economic and social inclusiveness for all individuals with disabilities They connect people with disabilities to volunteer makers who can build affordable assistive technologies.
Our students were tasked with designing and building switches to activate toys that would typically have small buttons and require a lot of dexterity. The switches were then used to make toys accessible and less frustrating for children with disabilities.
Our students were given an introduction to Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD) and had the opportunity to use the software TinkerCAD. Mr. Janzen was excited to see his Grade 9s move from drafting with pen and paper to working with drafting software.
Using the skills they learned in CAD, the students then designed button toppers for adaptive switches. These button toppers were later created by the students, using 3D printing. They learned and employed electronic and soldering skills to make a working switch. The final step required the students to adapt Spinning Light Wand Toys to be used with the switches they had created.
It was exciting for Mr. Janzen’s class to see their designs become a reality. All of the toys and switches that LCS students built have been donated to children with disabilities in Manitoba as part of the 2023 #HackingForTheHolidays campaign.
Nick Janzen said the project “turned out to be a perfect fit for our class. The students loved it, they absolutely loved it. I think the biggest thing was for them to connect the dots and say this is something I can do, I’m going to learn something by doing this, I’m going to be able to use my hands, but it’s actually going to help people.“ I would 100% recommend it to other teachers and want to do it again.”
Read the Makers Making Change article here.