The purpose of this project is to design, build, and deliver a table divider meant to minimize distraction for children with disabilities in a classroom at Waterville Elementary.
There are three Comprehensive Development Classrooms (CDCs) at Waterville Elementary. The teacher’s classroom was selected for participation in this project, and the classroom consists of children all diagnosed with varying degrees of autism, hyperactivity, and other sensory disabilities. The children are easily distracted when trying to complete tasks, especially through visual stimuli. The disabilities range from simple attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity to autism or severe physical immobility. For some time, the teacher has wanted a method of separating the children while working at a single round table for her convenience. The Chalkboard Tabletop Divider allows students to work independently with minimal distractions.
Each board measures 48” in length and 24” in height and is 1/4” thick. The distance between the underside of the divider and the tables measures 3/4”, bringing the total height to 24-3/4”. The trim is 1/4” thick and 1-3/8” wide. The two boards have channels on the top and bottom, respectively, that allow the boards to slide over each other, interlocking them into position. The main part of the divider is constructed with medium-density fiberboard (MDF). This is a type of wood that can be easily modified but is still sturdy enough to support itself. The trim is pine household trim. The MDF was painted with green chalkboard paint and conditioned with classic white chalk. The feet on the divider were English bun feet for furniture. The bottom of the feet is coated with Shurtape™ synthetic rubber tape. The wood stain was a honey-colored finish.
The user selects the board channeled at the top and places it on the table. One to two people then pick up the second board, which is channeled from the bottom. Both boards are oriented with two feet on the bottom. In this position, with the centers of the boards lining up, the divider should slide together perpendicular to each other until all four feet sit flat on the table. Each of the four sections should form a 90-degree angle. The users can then choose to write on the chalkboards with chalkboard chalk.