GoBabyGo! Allows Students to Give Back

The 5 students with a car they built for GoBabyGo!

Original story by Ritter Hoy, university news and communications

With just some PVC pipe, foam pool noodles and basic electronics, Miami University engineering students designed a way for local children with mobility disabilities to move.

The students worked with the GoBabyGo! program, which outfits battery-powered kid-sized cars with modifications, making mobility a reality for children with disabilities. The program is administered through the Butler County Board of Development Disabilities.

“Being able to move and explore is crucial for a young child’s speech development, cognition and growth,” said Wendy Planicka, community relations coordinator of the county board. “The cars empower kids to be a part of the action at home, in day care and on the playground.

The cars are therapeutic tools that prevent isolation and spawn curiosity. But the board’s car inventory, modified only with push-button starts, didn’t address various mobility disabilities.

“We were using the blueprints we got from the national GoBabyGo! program,” said Planicka. “But not all children have the same abilities. Having one start button wasn’t helping the kids who aren’t able to move their arms but can use their heads.”

Miami students — Anna Almquist, Isaiah Fleetwood, Kalene Kelly, Colin Petrello and Lindsay Silver — stepped in to design cars to help all children, regardless of their disability.

GoBabyGo! Full Story