“A wobble board” may sound like something silly from a cartoon, but this piece of equipment serves the important purpose of developing reflexes and balance in children with disabilities. And thanks to some enterprising UTC engineering students, Griffith Elementary and Sequatchie County Middle School now have several of the much-needed boards.

Abbas Shahid

Abbas Shahid

One of the biggest challenges for the team of students was to make the boards safe, but also fun. According to engineering student Khaled Albanna, the team tested various ideas to make the wobble boards more engaging.

“From the beginning, we wanted the wobble boards to be a challenge so the kids wouldn’t get bored.  We tried several different things, but in the end decided to make a maze. Students stand on the wobble board and move it side to side to move a small ball through the maze. It makes it more fun for them and less like work,” he said.

Another challenge for the team was making the board safe to use by school children.

“The design process was tough at first, but safety was our first priority. We didn’t use anything sharp in our design. We only used glue to put it together. The boards are solid though. They can support up to 300 pounds,” Albanna said.

Other teammates on this project were Will Mahn and Justen Thibodeaux.

For teammate Abbas Shahid, working on the wobble boards was an unique learning experience.

“It was really cool to make a project that’s going to be used by actual people. Our wobble boards will be helping real kids with their balancing problems,” Shahid said. “It’s better than just doing work in a classroom. You actually get to make a difference.”

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