A kaleidoscope may sound like just a toy, but for students at the Orange Grove Center the spinning colors provide a therapeutic effect. With the assistance of a projector, teachers use the kaleidoscope for sensory therapy. In an effort to make the projector more mobile and easier to use, a group of UTC engineering students went to task and constructed a cart.

From left to right: Nick Thornber, Will Reynolds, Grant Thomas, Ben Swords, Nick Callaway

The students designed and constructed the projection cart for a class of seven students ranging from 12-to-20 years with a variety of disabilities including cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, vision impairments, cognitive impairments, and severe-profound medical needs.  The projector is used often in the classroom.

“The kaleidoscope puts the kids in a sleepy state. It relaxes them,” UTC student Ben Swords said.

The cart houses the projector and accompanying power cords, and is fully mobile. The cart is constructed from red oak, stainless steel, and plastic, but definitely no latex.

“We couldn’t use latex due to allergies. We also had to make sure there were no sharp edges or places that could pinch fingers. Overall, this project taught us to really care for the client’s needs and pay attention to the details,” Swords said.

The group members had a $600 budget for the project. After several revisions, the final cart is structurally sound and user friendly.

“We’re really pleased with the way it came out,” Swords said.

Group members were Nick Thornber, Will Reynolds, Grant Thomas, Ben Swords, Nick Callaway, and Chad Odom.

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