High school students recently invented a wheelchair stroller that has helped to transform the quality of life for their teacher’s husband.
A group of high school students at Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, recently received an impressive two international awards for inventing and designing a device enabling people in wheelchairs to have the ability to push a baby stroller successfully.
Initially, the students invented the wheelchair stroller for their teacher’s husband. Therefore, allowing him to achieve his dream of successfully pushing his child’s pram independently.
The WheeStroll – an ingenious device
The students at Bullis School tasked themselves with the challenge of helping their teacher’s husband, who was wheelchair bound, to have the ability to be able to push his own child’s pram. So, they devised the ingenious idea of creating a wheelchair stroller called the ‘WheeStroll’.
Chelsie King’s husband had undergone brain surgery three years earlier, which unfortunately left him with many physical challenges, affecting his speech and balance. Therefore, resulting in him having to use a wheelchair.
When asked what was important for herself and her partner, Mrs King said, “We really just wanted a way to have walks as a family and for him to be able to do everything that a parent without physical disabilities does”.
Making things for social good ‒ students invent wheelchair stroller for teacher’s husband
Mrs King then remembered that Matt Zigler, the head of the school’s Innovation and Technology Lab, or BITlab, taught a class that focused on making things for social good.
Speaking to NBC about the challenge of making the King’s dreams a reality, Mr Zigler said, “It seemed like sort of the perfect challenge for this class. One, it was great to have it as a challenge. But two, it was great that it was somebody in our community that could benefit from it”.
The students split into two teams, and over a few weeks, they refined their ideas and came up with the device. Speaking about the experience, Jacob Zlotnitsky, a Bullis senior, said, “Ibenka [Espinoza] had a group, and I had a group, and we both made a design.
“And it turned out that both of our designs, if we combined it together, we’d make, like, a superior design.”
As one of the students explained, the ‘WheeStroll’ works as follows: “Mr King would put in the attachment piece. Next, you’d get the car seat and put it into the attachment piece. And then next you would buckle the baby in”.
Well-deserved recognition and praise – an award-winning effort
The initiative and genius shown by the high schoolers in creating the “WheeStroll” certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
They were recognized for both the “Best Inspirational Story” and “Best Showcase of Iterative Design” for the 14-18 age group during the 2021 make:able challenge, which PrintLab, Autodesk, and partners hosted.
The school was awarded a new 3D scanner and a Filamentive bundle pack used in 3D printing. Therefore, the impact of students inventing the wheelchair stroller for their teacher’s husband is incredibly far-reaching.
A life-changing invention – making a positive difference in people’s lives
Speaking to NBC about the positive impact it has had on herself and her husband, Jeremy, Mrs King said, “It’s just been really amazing to see my husband, Jeremy, who you guys [the high school students] got to meet virtually, and our son be able to enjoy these things.
“So, we just want to say thank you guys so much for the amazing innovations that you guys did this year”.
It is hoped that many more people like Jeremy will benefit from the ‘WheeStroll’ in the future. Therefore, the device will continue to impact people’s lives positively.