Project Description

This semester I had some students interested in making a Therapeutic Toy for a young patient with hand mobility and dexterity issues. I invited Alison Ferrara into our school to showcase their ideas, research, design build and test efforts. Mrs. Ferrara is a Physical Therapist and Site Coordinator from Premier Health at Atrium Medical Center. She was VERY impressed with our students and their ideas. Students sketched their work, built it on CAD and made a physical prototype test model.

Materials: modeling clay, wood, foam board, card board, fabrics, Autodesk Inventor, Engineering Design notebooks.

Experts:  Alison Ferrara was a real life expert consulted for this project. Mrs. Ferrara is a Physical Therapist and Site Coordinator from Premier Health at Atrium Medical Center.


Students were challenged to identify a real life need or problem that they would like to design, build and test a prototype model solution for using both classroom materials for as well as Computer Aided Design or CAD.

""This project was a huge success. Student driven project based learning at its finest! Students continued to ask for what they needed and I provided whatever help and guidance but it was their interest and creativity that made the project a success. I plan to use this project as an option for students interested in the medical end of STEM in the future.""
— Bill Poehner, teacher
"All students involved with this project continued to speak highly of how fun and how much they learned while completing their work. Mrs. Ferrara believed the project would work as a real Therapeutic Toy as it was heavy enough to challenge a young child to move. The decorations, game challenge and candy rewards would motivate the young patient to continue playing until the therapeutic effect was achieved. Great job!"

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