Students assemble cars for mobile-challenged preschoolers

Middletown Area School District  |  Posted on

A high-schooler assembles car for mobile-challenged preschooler. Photo Credit: Penn State Harrisburg, Sharon Siegfried

On Monday, October 4, 2021, eight Middletown Area High School students, led by Computer Science Teacher Mr. Luke Copenhaver, joined Dr. Tyler S. Love, Penn State Harrisburg’s assistant professor of elementary/middle grades STEM education, at the PSU Harrisburg campus. The students were invited by Dr. Love to assemble cars. No, not your typical car, as you may think, but a “Go, Baby, Go!” car.

“Go, Baby, Go!” is a research-based program which is run by the University of Delaware. The project provides modified, ride-on cars to young children with disabilities so they can move around independently. “The modified toy cars give children with mobility disabilities a chance to play and socialize with their peers more easily. Past research has shown that independent mobility is linked to cognitive, social, motor, language and other developmental benefits in young children. Being pushed in a stroller or being carried from one place to another is fundamentally different from having active control over one’s own exploration, which is where the developmental gains are seen.”

The Middletown students worked on six mini-cars assembling them piece by piece. A group of middle school students from another area school completed the task so the finished cars could be presented to six thrilled little preschoolers. The new drivers excitedly took their places behind the wheel and sped off on a new adventure of freedom and independence.

To find out how your organization can participate in the “Go, Baby, Go!” program, visit Go, Baby, Go!