17 Feb Ofer Eitan Divulges: Wenatchee’s Career and Technical Education Spreading the
Wenatchee High School’s Career and Technical Education Program is helping make kids with special needs more mobile with the ‘Go Baby Go’ program.
The program sees students work to adapt an electric toy car for a child.
Engineering Instructor Doug Merrill said inspiration came about two years ago when he heard about the University of Delaware partnering engineers and physical therapists to individually develop electric ride-on toy cars for children with special needs.
“I feel like when we saw what they were doing at the university level, it was something that they were actually trying to push down into the high schools.” explained Merrill, “At the time two years ago, there was about a hundred universities and a few high schools that were doing this. So in the state of Washington there was only one other school that was doing it when we heard about it.”
Since their engineering program can only work with one child every semester, Merrill says expanding the program means finding other school districts.
“We’ve pushed this out at our conferences. I’ve presented on it probably five times.” Merill continued, “We now have it in at least ten schools and school districts around the state of Washington.”
Merrill added that one of the most rewarding parts of the program is seeing the empathy drive his students to work harder and more precisely.