As a part of Bullitt County Public Schools partnership with GE Appliances (GEA) and their Director of Engineering Development, Mr. Mike Ekbundit, students have been working to solve “mismatches” (barriers to inclusion) in specific community spaces. The focus has been on mismatches for the mobility-impaired - people who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and the elderly in particular. Students have worked extremely hard in developing their initial ideas, which range from modular sidewalks and a new swingset concept, to picnic tables that spin to adapt to individuals with wheelchairs, and beyond. These student groups have reached the point in the design process where they need approval from local city councils in order to continue moving forward. The councils were asked to approve projects that they could envision in their communities and decline the rest.
Students from Bullitt East High School and Bullitt Advanced Math and Science (BAMS) presented their plans to Mount Washington City Council on December 13th and all projects were given the “go ahead” to continue development. Two groups from Bullitt Central High School presented their ideas to the Shepherdsville City Council on January 10th and also received approval to move forward.
Mr. Ekbundit from GEA had this to say about BCPS’ student engineers: “I think both councils were impressed with the creativity and intelligence of the student teams. I think it's safe to say that the teachers were very proud too. The students all represented their schools well! I'm really excited for them.”
The student teams will now work to incorporate feedback from the councils and begin transitioning from digital models of their designs to building functional, small scale models with readily available materials. The final stage will be to build full size, functional models to share at their final presentations to the city councils near the end of the school year. Engineers from GEA will be helping the students all along the way, focusing on the practical aspects of planning and making.