Design Playground Rides for Children with Disabilities in Villages in Peru
Course: 25.200 – Community-Based Engineering Design Project I
Semester: Spring 2006
Instructor: John Duffy
Partner: Peru Playgrounds
Two students worked on assessing and re-designing playgrounds for villages in Peru as part of the Village Empowerment project (http://energy.caeds.eng.uml.edu/Peru/index.shtm), the college has been working with a volunteer clinic in the town of Huarmey, which provides therapy for folks with disabilities. The goal of this project was to analyze and design two rides to be built with local materials for children with disabilities. The group worked with the instructor to choose specific children from a client list and developed more specific objectives and an approach. A double pendulum analytic model was developed by the students to simulate a swing for a hand-operated child with a leg disability (the idea of one of the students). Community and academic benefits centered on the application of engineering problem solving skills for assessing community-based challenges to develop useful design projects.
The swing was actually built by some of the same students later in 22.423 capstone design.