Cy Ranch CTE students’ project benefits visually impaired youth

November 14, 2016

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Career and technical education students from Cypress Ranch High School deliver a mobile cart to hold the monitor and device of Walker Elementary School visually impaired kindergarten student Abby Warren on Nov. 10.

Nov. 14, 2016—Students from multiple classes at Cypress Ranch High School collaborated on a project that will make the daily classroom routine easier for one visually impaired CFISD kindergarten student.

Walker Elementary School student Abby Warren uses a device and monitor that projects books and worksheets so she can participate in classroom activities as well as independent work and reading. The monitor, however, is stationary and prevented her from moving around the classroom.

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Walker Elementary School visually impaired kindergarten student Abby Warren displays her new mobile cart, designed and constructed in three weeks by students in four classes at Cypress Ranch High School.

One of her collaborative kindergarten teachers, Pam Wakefield, shared the need with her husband, Cypress Ranch architecture and engineering teacher David Wakefield. Wakefield, who had been seeking ways for students to see real-life connections with projects they made in the classroom, enlisted the help of career and technology education students to design and create a mobile cart to hold Warren’s monitor.

“We have been wanting to partner with Cypress Ranch for the students to have opportunities to design and create useful objects/projects for our campus,” said Kim Dameron, Walker principal.

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Cypress Ranch architecture and engineering teacher David Wakefield, left, and Principal Bob Hull visit with Walker kindergarten student Abby Warren after delivering the visually impaired student a mobile cart to hold a monitor and reading device.

Four different classes combined on a project that took three weeks to complete:

  • students in the Principles of Architecture and Construction class created the paint scheme, layout of chevron pattern and painting of the project: Nicole Crandell, Abigail Gleinser, Juliana Decastro, Izzy Dusek and Gianna Ligotino combined on this effort, while Sarah Grogg was responsible for designing Warren’s laser-engraved name;
  • Engineering Design and Presentation students Logan Compton and Ricky Martinez drew the working drawings for the project;
  • Advanced Construction Management students Matt Gonzalez and Sam Whiteside were responsible for construction of the project; and
  • Flexible Manufacturing students Cody Washburn and Mason Anderson, two of Norm Smith’s students, made the brackets for the wheels.

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After delivering the mobile cart to a visually impaired kindergarten student at Walker Elementary School, Cypress Ranch students took the opportunity to read to classmates. 

“It was a good collaboration of students from several different classes,” Wakefield said. “I was extremely proud of the effort my students put forth in this project.”

The students visited Walker on Nov. 10 to surprise Warren with the mobile cart. Before they left, they took the opportunity to read to the class.

“The high school students that visited Walker will forever have a lasting memory of how their ‘creation’ directly improved Abby’s daily living at school,” Dameron said. “I hope to continue this partnership and look for other opportunities to create a successful learning environment here at Walker. Our students deserve this and so much more.”

Wakefield said he is already looking forward to future projects with the Title I campus.

“It was a good experience where what is learned in the classroom can be applied to real-life applications,” he said. “It impacted my students greatly, and I have more students wanting to do similar projects for Walker.”

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