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.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Now let's get down to business

Today we are getting down to business-it's project week! We spent the morning organizing our luggage. In case you don't know, we each are allowed 2 suitcases up to 50 lbs. Each student can use one for personal items, but the other is used to take projects or donations.

In our manufacturing class for the last 2 years, students have designed and built various toys that are intended to be therapeutic--not only fun but also require that the child work on their motor skills while they play. This includes wobble boards with mazes, foosball tables, tic tac toe boards, chess boards, and others.

We were supposed to visit APAE (the association for fathers and friends of the exceptional), but there was a miscommunication and we will have to return on Thursday. Instead, we spent the time assembling the projects that were designed by SAU Engineering Students, Sweet Briar Engineering students, and SAU Social Entrepreneurship students. Over the next few days we will visit the recipients of these projects and make final adjustments as needed. We will also be keeping our eye out for future project ideas.

Today's reflection: We are now working on getting our donations and projects "up and running." A lot of things that end up not working or breaking are unpredictable when you are working on projects for people on another continent. Can you think of any ways to better prepare for these hurdles from the start? Simply telling students about them is not a solution.

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