Digital Content Specialist for Newington Public Schools
NEWINGTON - The Academy of Biomedical Sciences at Martin Kellogg Middle School and students and faculty involved in the Central Cares Club from Central Connecticut State University recently partnered for the Go Baby Go program.
Go Baby Go is a national, community-based research, design, and outreach program that provides modified ride-on cars to children from birth to age three who experience limited mobility.
CCSU and Newington students worked together to modify electronic toy vehicles for young children with multiple disabilities. Motorized wheelchairs can be incredibly expensive, especially for small children who will need varying sizes as they grow; through the Go Baby Go program, groups work to help provide mobility for these children without an expensive wheelchair - the modified toy vehicle helps the children experience mobility on their own, many for the first time.
The Academy of Biomedical Sciences emphasizes real-world application throughout the school year and the students are no stranger to using their skills to help others. In the spring of 2017, many of the Academy students participated in “The Hand Challenge,” in which the students used a 3-D printer to create the pieces needed to assemble nearly a dozen prosthetic hands that were donated to children in need.
Similarly, the Go Baby Go program is not the only focus for the CCSU club; Central Cares seeks to promote caring and community service, volunteering their time and skills to benefit those in need.
On April 27, a crew from CCSU joined the Biomedical Academy students in their lab at Kellogg to begin modifying the toys. Five teams of middle school and college students were formed to modify a vehicle according to the specific needs of a child.
Red trucks were at the center of each of team as they cut PVC pipe, electrical wiring, rope, and even children’s pool kickboards and pool noodles to help make the vehicles safe and accessible for their new owners.
The teams worked through the design process to ensure that their vehicles were ready for the next day.
On the morning of April 28, the children and their families visited Martin Kellogg School to be fitted in their vehicles and the teams made their final adjustments. The teams of Biomedical and CCSU students were delighted to see their hard work come to fruition as they witnessed the children take off in their vehicle for the first time.