Local High School Students Needed for Technology Challenge to Benefit Children with Disabilities

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Southwest Human Development is getting ready to host their annual MAKERS of Change Assistive Technology Challenge benefiting children with disabilities and is looking for help from local high school students.

The Challenge engages Valley high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), coding, robotics and technology teams to troubleshoot and create “real-world” solutions that will help improve the lives of young children with disabilities.

Last year, more than 300 students from high schools across the Valley worked to provide a communication system for a non-verbal child. This year, the 2022 Challenge asks students to create a standing apparatus that allows a young child to be independent of a caregiver, and eventually learn to walk.

“This Challenge is a win-win for the education and disabilities communities,” said Jake Adams, chief development officer at Southwest Human Development. “By tapping into the creativity and maker’s spirit of high school students, solutions are developed that could improve the quality of life for those served through our Easterseals disabilities program. We also hope the process is fueling an interest in a future science or engineering career for the students.”

Each high school team of up to six team members, plus their coach, will be matched with a professional mentor who will assist and guide them through the project over a four-week period.

Teams will be evaluated on a variety of qualitative measures by a judging panel consisting of representatives from Amazon, Intel, Arizona State University and more.

The winning high school team will win a $500 cash prize.

Teams must register by August 29. To sign up or learn more about the MAKERS of Change Assistive Technology Challenge, visit www.swhd.org/makers.