Siskin Children’s Institute is partnering with the seventh grade science/digital fabrication students at Sale Creek Middle School. Eighty students from the school visited the Siskin Early Learning Center and took a tour to learn more about assistive technology (AT) and how it is used to help children with special needs learn, play and communicate with their peers.
The students at Sale Creek Middle School have access to a digital fabrication lab where they will be designing their AT devices.
A $65,000 grant was awarded from Volkswagen through the Public Education Foundation, in partnership with the State of Tennessee, in order to make the fabrication lab possible. With these resources, the students will work together in teams to create AT devices that will assist a child with special needs in therapy or play.
“We wanted the students to be challenged to collaborate, create, think critically and problem-solve, with a sense of purpose and empathy,” says Cara Stiles, seventh grade science teacher at Sale Creek Middle School. “We believe that opening their eyes to diversity will expand their worldview, cultivate deeper learning and increase their social and emotional awareness.
In March, staff from Siskin Children’s Institute will attend an evening event at Sale Creek Middle School to see and review the class projects.