GoBabyGo! projects unveiled by students at Caperton Center

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP)- There were many smiles tonight at the Caperton Center where numerous students unveiled 3 projects they have been working on for almost a month.

Monday night concluded the second year of go-baby-go here in the Mid-Ohio Valley and it all started when Kristen reached out to her brother.

Go-baby-go is part of a national movement that gives special needs children an alternative option to improve their independent mobility which therapists stress is important for these children to learn.

Kristen Kimes, a Pediatric Physical Therapist, states “The benefit of independent mobility, especially with these cars, is they can reach their arm out, hit a switch or move their head to hit a switch and they make the car go. It’s the cause and effect learning that so many kids at this age and kids with special needs need to learn.”

Students diligently worked on modifying battery powered cars to better fit individual kids with special needs.

Steve Freshour, a math instructor at Wood County Tech Center, says “Some of the main modifications we have made are instead of using their feet for the gas pedal, a typical gas pedal; we’ve rewired that so that there is an actual push button that will accelerate the car. We’ve also installed 5 point harnesses for safety. We use the 3d printers that you can see behind me, to modify certain aspects of the car.”

From specialized seats to motivating music, the cars were customized to each child based off of what therapeutic service students found through their case studies.

With electrical technology students rewired aspects of the car and project lead the way students re-purposed different components of the car students were able to apply skills they’ve learned in their departments.

Freshour says “so it not only helps the students with their own program of study but it also enables the students to be part of something greater than the education world.“

And though students and teachers said it was stressful at times, seeing the kid’s smiles made up for it all.

Kimes explains “It takes them a little while to learn how to operate the cars, but once they get it and smile, they have that achievement, it’s amazing.”

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