Energy and Electronics students modify Power Wheels for children with disabilities

Energy and Electronic Students
May 5, 2017

SCTCC Energy and Electronics students partnered with Benton Stearns Education District on a project that resulted in smiles all around. 

For the second year, Aaron Barker and his students made modifications to Power Wheels that were gifted to young children who have varying levels of physical abilities. 

Families, students and staff from Benton Stearns and St. Cloud education districts met with SCTCC students Tuesday night to put the finishing touches on their custom Power Wheels. 

The most common modification required Energy and Electronics students to replace the gas pedal with a hand operated accelerator button on the steering wheel.  Other finishing touches included affixing fitted headrests, safety belts and colorful foam additions.

After waiting patiently for their new wheels to be completed, the students from Benton Stearns and St. Cloud education districts took over the halls of SCTCC.  They raced back and forth sporting proud smiles as their families tried to keep up with them.

“It’s great to build on last year’s event and have Benton Stearns and St. Cloud staff, students and families on campus with our students,” said Barker.  “Last year it was just Biomedical students working on the vehicles; this year we had to include all our Energy and Electronic students.” 

Last year, Benton Stearns Physical Therapist DeAnna Dunsmoor reached out to Barker in hopes of collaborating on this opportunity.  After confirming Energy and Electronic students would be happy to make the modifications, Dunsmoor secured funding through gifts from St. Cloud Metro Lions Club, Walmart and Coborn’s.

The smiles on everyone’s faces Tuesday night confirmed the newly modified Power Wheels were a great success. 

“We’re already getting ideas for next year,” said Barker. 

Matt Klinkhammer