More than 50 high school teams submitted solutions for a young child named Reese to gain independence. Submissions will be narrowed down to nine finalist teams to share their ideas with a panel of judges on October 7.
Since 2018, Southwest Human Development hosted its MAKERS of Change challenge to engage Valley high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), coding, robotics and technology teams to troubleshoot and create “real-world” solutions that will help improve the lives of young children with disabilities.
The 2022 Challenge invited students to envision or create a standing apparatus that allows a young child named Reese to be independent of a caregiver and eventually learn to walk.
The MAKERS of Change Assistive Technology Challenge was created to support the ADAPT Shop at Southwest Human Development, a place where every project begins with an idea based on a need and ends with a life improved. Thanks to a dedicated and experienced team of therapists and fabricators, children from birth to age five with physical disabilities receive the supports they need to become independent, active participants in common activities enjoyed by other children their age.
Final team presentations will take place from 2pm-5pm at the Helios Education Campus, 4747 N. 32nd Street in Phoenix, Arizona 85018. Winners will be named and receive $100 in the categories of Proof of Concept, Built Design and Built Design with Movement. One overall winning high school team will be named the “Best in Show” and will earn $500.
Each high school team of up to six team members, plus their coach, was presented with a real-life challenge faced by children with disabilities. Teams were matched with a professional mentor who assisted and guided them through project ideation and execution over a four-week period during which they developed and built a solution for the scenario.
Advance registration to attend the Finalist Presentation is required and can be completed using this registration form or by calling Louann Phillips at 602-361-3785.
About Southwest Human Development
Southwest Human Development is Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development. Recognizing a child’s earliest experiences and relationships establish the foundation for all future development, Southwest Human Development’s more than 40 comprehensive programs focus on young children—ages birth to 5—and their families in the areas of child development, mental health, Easterseals disabilities services, Head Start, early literacy, family support and child welfare, and professional development and training. Founded in 1981, Southwest Human Development serves 140,000 children and families each year. Learn more at www.swhd.org.