High School Students Build Wheelchair-Stroller For Disabled Dad So He Can Walk His Child

High School Students Build Wheelchair-Stroller For Disabled Dad So He Can Walk His Child

Ten students together developed two products which allow a person in a wheelchair to walk their child in a stroller.

Three years ago, 37-year-old Jeremy King from Germantown, Maryland, had to go through surgery for a brain tumor. Jeremy has had "significant balance issues" since then, his wife has said. When he and Chelsie, 32, found out they were expecting in June 2020, the pair looked into ways to make parenting accessible for Jeremy. The couple was concerned about activities like taking their child out on walks. "While he can walk, he can't do so safely carrying a child," Chelsie King told Good Morning America. "So we jumped into, 'OK, what do we need in order for him to parent safely?' and honestly, not a whole lot came up -- there's just really not a ton of resources out there for disabled parents."



Soon enough, Chelsie King thought of Matt Zigler, a teacher at Bullis School, and his "Making for Social Good" class, which focuses on designing products that help society. "The idea of the course is to start out by trying to understand the problem, so we did interviews with the family," Zigler said. "We talked to somebody at the local fire department who actually does infant car seat installation training to try to better understand how those things work." Ten students from Bullis High School in Potomac, Maryland ended up creating two products that would allow a person in a wheelchair to walk their child in a stroller. Jeremy was moved to see the dedicated young minds at work. "It was certainly emotional seeing the process and everything that went into this," he told GMA. "I really feel the students took all my concerns to heart when creating the prototypes." The first product was created keeping and small children in mind. It attaches a car seat to a wheelchair. The second was designed for older children and was created using 3D-printed equipment to attach a stroller to a wheelchair itself. The youngsters used the school's MakerSpace to 3D print several parts. They bought others from Home Depot to build the attachments and got a wheelchair from a school nurse to use as a test model. The products were so good that the team even went on to win two awards at an international competition called the 2021 Make:able 3D Printing Challenge



"It's been amazing," said Zigler, according to TODAY. "This has been the most successful of the projects that we've done in the three years that I've taught this class, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it was somebody in our community and so the students were really motivated to just keep trying and keep testing out different ideas and design and redesign ... I think the fact that the students knew it was going to be used, made it more real for them, and they knew because it was going to be used, it had to be good." New mom Chelsie too couldn't be happier. "Just being able to see Jeremy have that independence with our son was something really incredible," King said. "Parenting can be really scary for anybody, but we had a set of challenges ahead of us that we're still navigating as our son grows. ... It's really special to be able to get outside and share a walk together as a family, so the gratitude that we both felt having it dropped off and being able to use it going forward has been just a really incredible gift."