A 12-year old boy with multiple developmental, speech, and feeding delays in Soddy Daisy needed to exercise on a climbing structure at his home, but his parents said it wasn’t very interesting or fun to use. A group of UTC engineering students in Dr. Cecelia Wigal’s first year Design Project class discovered Zachary loves trains, so they designed a new look for the climbing structure. The design was topped off by a pretend smokestack that doubles as a basketball goal.
“We were motivated by the knowledge that regular exercise will slow the degenerative disease that is attacking Zachary’s muscles,” said Chris Olson, one member of the team who worked on Zachary’s exercise train. “We focused on the esthetics and we also included a basketball goal. When he throws the ball in the basket, it comes back out!”
Safety is always a concern for these engineering students—they focused on designing a structure that was free of sharp edges and corners. They also used materials that would be durable in all kinds of weather and easy to clean.
Another fun feature for Zachary allows him to engage the “wheels” of the train by turning a crank to make the wheels spin.
Additionally, Kevin Braziel, Naseem Jibrin, and Bailey Ennis worked on Zachary’s Exercise Train.
“I really enjoyed the process of deciding exactly how we would approach this structure,” Braziel said. “It was great to throw around ideas and decide on a way to solve the problem.