Archimedes Project volunteers
modify playthings for disabled
kids to enjoy
By Rosemarie Bernardo
rbernardo@starbulletin.com
Wearing plastic goggles and a look of concentration in her eyes, 17-year-old Katie Kubo of Maryknoll High School connects wires to a small device for a toy carousel.

The mechanism will later be attached to another piece to enable a disabled child to activate the toy using light pressure.

"It gives me a good feeling that I'm able to do this for the children," said Kubo, a senior who plans on becoming a mechanical engineer.

In less than an hour, Kubo was already working on her next toy: a stuffed animal named Tigger that bounces around when you press its head. Her goal is to modify the stuffed animal as she did with the carousel so a disabled child can play with it.

In a Santa Claus-like workshop, nine students from various public and private schools on Oahu worked diligently Saturday during a session held in Kalihi to alter toys for disabled children.

And with about 25,000 disabled children in Hawaii, there's plenty of work to do, said Neil Scott, founder of Archimedes Project Hawaii, which develops technology to enhance the quality of life for disabled people and seniors.

The workshop is held by Archimedes and sponsored by isisHawaii and Women in Technology.

The first Archimedes Project at Stanford University was co-founded by Scott in 1992. He was chief engineer and director until 2003, when he moved to Hawaii to start the Hawaii project.

With Archimedes' help, disabled children who suffer from conditions such as cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury can activate toys that previously were off limits.

http://starbulletin.com/2004/12/13/news/story4.html



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