The mission of the Program for Assistive Technologies for Underprivileged (PATU) is to allow students to practice engineering skills while they develop strong communication and teamwork skills, gain global perspective, and learn social responsibility through projects for persons with disabilities that otherwise could not afford assistance.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Today is the day

After several days of rain, we were delighted to have a beautiful bright day. The perfect weather was foreshadowing for a perfect day.

We arrived at CREADH first to deliver our donations and projects.  It was great to have the students play and interact with the children, their parents, and other adult patients while we were there. Just look at everyone's faces!  They were so excited.

The students explained their projects to Camila, the Occupational Therapist at CREADH.  Camila trains OT's at other facilities and was excited to share the donations and the devices with others. All of the projects focused on using designs that were simple to replicate and materials that could be acquired locally.

Mitch and Mitch (and Kayla and Kristin) shared their project first. The device is a writing board to help change the angle of the table top to assist those who have difficulty writing.  It has a flip-up top so that paper can be placed below a clear top and be used as a tracing pattern.  

Ally, Des'rae, and Justin (and Mary Kate) designed training kitchens for adults who have disabilities such as parkinson's or have suffered a stroke (just a couple of examples).  The designs are adjustable in height and contain assistive cutting boards and non-slip surfaces.

After sharing with them our devices, we joined them in a Sao Joao party where all the students danced Forro and ate and drank typical "harvest" foods.  They all had a blast!

After lunch we went to CAPSia, which is a clinic that focuses on children with a variety of mental disabilities. The therapists were overjoyed with happiness at the donations of toys, crayons, play doh, and super glue that we brought for them.

Andrew, Dana, and Ashley (and Allison) presented their educational "toy box" project.  The project is a durable box that has a white board that can be mounted to the front.  Inside they have tangram blocks and other educational games.

Lydia and Erika (and Caroline) created a frame for a hammock swing from PVC, and Rachel and Geordon created (perhaps the largest) seesaw also made from PVC.  They were very excited and enthusiastic about getting devices that would help the students increase their physical activity.

It was truly a remarkable and life-changing day.  

Day 9 reflection: There are multiple facets to service-learning.  One is the service provided to a community partner, but the other is learning.  Discuss what you learned from the services you provided.  What have you gotten from doing these projects and interacting with people at clinics?

Chachaca manufacturing

Cachaca is the liquor of Brazil, made from sugarcane and used in Caipirinha's, the delicious Brazilian drink.  We visited a Cachacaria, Rio do Engenho, to see how it is produced.  It was very rainy and muddy, but interesting to see the processes, learn about the cachaca, and taste it!  For the afternoon we went to downtown Ilheus.

Day 8 reflection: Ilheus is A sister city to Davenport. Sister cities are similar in size and population. As you experienced downtown Ilheus today, compare and contrast Davenport and Ilheus.