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Q&A With Microgrant Recipients Joshua & Benjamin

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Microgrant recipients & twin brothers (15) Joshua and Benjamin from Eugene, OR used their award to modify toy ride ons (think: dumptrucks) as an alternative to a wheelchair for young children with physical disabilities. The modified cars actually help kids make friends better than a wheelchair would because the toy cars look fun and attract other kids.

  1. How many people participated in your service project?

About 25 students from our robotics team worked on a truck at one time or another.

  1. How many hours did you and other participants spend on the project?

It took about 10 hours to complete a truck, and we just finished making our 4th truck. (Our original grant proposal was for 4 trucks, but we found such a good sale on trucks that we are going to be able to make a 5th truck!) Usually 2-4 students work on a truck a time. Additionally, we have spent about 30 hours so far writing the instructions for how to make the trucks.

  1. What did you learn from this experience?

We learned the advantages and disadvantages of this second model of joystick truck as compared to our first model. We saw how eager high school students are to help people, if they are just given the opportunity.

  1. How will your project continue having an impact in the future?

First of all, 5 kids with disabilities will be able to use a truck that allows them to move around and helps them make friends. Secondly, when we finish the instructions for modifying the trucks and publish them on the internet, more people will be able to make these trucks. We think the biggest impact this project will continue to have comes from the fact that we introduced it to our robotics team. The team has completely embraced the project and would like this to become a regular part of what our robotics team does. The team is in the process of looking for further funding for making more trucks.

  1. Overall, summarize how your project was completed and how you think it went.

The robotics team is often busy building robots of course, but a table was set up where team members could work on a truck, when they had time. So far, three of the trucks have been given to families. We think the project went really well, and we’re so happy that our robotics team is so excited to continue the project.

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