Bullis Upper School students recently won two international awards for inventing and designing the WheeStroll, a device enabling people in wheelchairs to push a baby stroller. News4’s Shawn Yancy reports they came up with the design to help one of their own teachers. Watch now!
International Award Winning Wheelchair Adaptation Devices
Bullis Upper School students in Matt Zigler's Making for Social Good course invented and designed two functional wheelchair adaptation devices which allow a wheelchair user to carry an infant seat or push a stroller with safety and ease.
First Aired on:
Ten Bullis Upper School students are making it possible for a new father with impaired mobility to walk with his newborn son.
Jeremy King had surgery for a brain tumor three years ago and was left with physical challenges like not being able to balance well. He can walk, but he can't do it safely while carrying a child, so his wife, Chelsie King, Middle School theatre teacher, turned to a coworker for help.
Ms. King reached out to Matt Zigler, BITlab coordinator, who teaches a class called “Making for Social Good,” where students design products that have a positive social impact. He threw the challenge to his class and they got to work on something that could attach to Jeremy’s wheelchair. The students did interviews with the Kings to understand the issue and needs and eventually narrowed down their ideas into two projects:
- WheeStroll Stroller Attachment, which connects an infant car seat to a wheelchair.
- WheeStroll Stroller Adapter, which connects an entire stroller to a wheelchair.
Using the Bullis Innovation & Technology Lab (BITlab) and MakerSpace, students were able to 3D print parts and buy other materials from a hardware store. Their goal, beyond helping the Kings, was to create an affordable design that others could replicate to help families with disabilities.
Wheelchair Stroller Attachment
The WheeStroll Wheelchair Stroller Attachment* design uses an infant car seat for safety and simplicity, and the rest of the design can be built with inexpensive tools and materials.
This stroller attachment design is available for your use.
Bullis Student Team: Stroller Attachment
- Evan Beach '24
- Benjamin Gordon '22
- Aidan McDuffie '22
- Jewel Walker '24
Wheelchair Stroller Adapter
The WheeStroll Wheelchair Stroller Adapter is a device that can allow a parent to push a stroller with their wheelchair. This device requires two 3D printed parts, but can also be made with inexpensive tools and materials.
Bullis Student Team: Stroller Adapter
- Ibenka Espinoza '22
- Cami Murphy '24,
- Julian Perkins '24
- Kieran Anzelone '21
- Tom Yu '24
- Jacob Zlotnitsky '21
Bullis students working on the "WheeStroll" aka Wheelchair Project won two international awards in the PrintLabs 2021 make:able design challenge.
Dave Schlitter, founder of Maker Pipe, interviews Mr. Zigler, BITlab Coordinator; Benjamin G. '22; and Evan B. '24 to talk about the inspirational Wheelchair Project.
About Making for Social Good Course
In this course Bullis Upper School students will make a valuable, positive, and concrete contribution to a community by utilizing the design thinking process and making skills. Students will develop and implement empathy, a key element of the design thinking process, to address a need within a community (local, regional, or global) rather than a personal need or desire. Students will use the tools of the BITlab to make a product or service that can positively affect the lives of others, will understand the impact they can have on the world, and learn the skills necessary to act upon that knowledge. Learn more about the Bullis Innovation & Technology Lab (BITlab)
*Safety Disclaimer: While we have tested the WheeStroll Wheelchair Stroller Attachment design for strength and stability, if you are building this device you assume all risks involved in using it. We recommend using the device carefully and ALWAYS remove the infant car seat with the child before getting out of the wheelchair to avoid tipping.