On Jan. 10, McClintock Middle sixth-grade students in Ben Davis' Project Lead the Way Design and Modeling classes presented 13 prototype designs for an oxygen tank carrier to help a little girl in need. The students exceeded his original expectations.
Davis met the Hightshoe family at the HEARTest Yard 5k in Charlotte. The parents were carrying an oxygen bottle for their 2-year-old daughter, Emmett, who was in a walker. That was in May of 2019. When he got to McClintock this year, he knew this was a project that his students could tackle.
"I knew this was the perfect project for a 3-D print," Davis said. "It was something that sixth-graders could probably wrap their heads around."
Emmett came to the class with her walker and met the students. The students immediately began measuring the walker. This then was turned into computerized designs and then eventually the designs became reality on the 3-D printer in McClintock's media center. They were extremely fortunate that Numotion, the company that makes the walker, donated one for them to use during the design process.
As each group presented their designs, Emmett's mother, Maleigh, watched. She asked questions to get clarity on how the bottle holder would fit on the walker. Each design was unique. Some fit on the side, some on the back, and one was on wheels that could move along with the walker.
"It was incredible to see the excitement and joy that they had to display the projects they created," Hightshoe said.
Also in attendance were representatives from Numotion. The hope is that the designs could live on a website where parents of other children who use the same walker could download and 3D print them.
Davis said that this may be one of the best classes he has been involved with in his 26 years of being in education.
"This just shows that kids can change the world," he said. "They are full of wonderful, great ideas that are just waiting to come out and even at their age can contribute immensely to help all of us."