(Department of Mechanical Engineering)

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Wilson Middle School Project


Teacher: Barbara Anne Fisher                                                           

Faculty: Stephen Sundarrao

College of Engineering (Research Experience for Teachers)

Tel: (813) 758-0553

Tel: (813) 974-5346



Project Summary:

The purpose of this project is to design and develop a mentoring program for Wilson Middle School students that will address ‘real world problems’ encountered by individuals with disabilities. Middle school students participating in this program will experience what it would be like to have a specific disability (i.e.: confined to a wheelchair with limited mobility of their arms), and will then define task-oriented problems encountered by a person with such a disability in the course of daily living. Each student will identify a specific task-oriented problem, and will select an appropriate national competition (i.e.: ExploraVision, Intel Science and Engineering Fair, Sears-Craftsman Young Inventors Competition, etc.) that will provide the format by which to develop concepts and prototypes of products to provide a solution for their identified problem. RET faculty and graduate students will provide on-going mentoring support during the duration of the Student Educational Research Mentoring Program.  The culminating activities for the program will include participation in the USF Engineering Expo and the entry of the completed project in the selected national competition.

 Goals & Objectives

The first major goal of this RET project is to strengthen and broaden the interaction between Wilson Middle School teachers and students and USF’s Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology program, thereby enhancing the community outreach of RETP.

 The second major goal of this RET project is to increase the awareness of Wilson Middle School teachers and students about career potentials within the field of Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology.

The objectives designed to meet these two goals are:

·       The development of the “Student Educational Research Mentoring Program” which will become an integral part of the USF Engineering Expo. 

·       Through participation in the “Student Educational Research Mentoring Program,” interaction between Wilson Middle School  teachers and students and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology Program at USF will increase by providing students and teachers with training and on-going mentoring/support for the duration of “SERMP”.

·       Structuring  the individual projects of  the “SERMP”  participants according to the guidelines for the national competition in which they choose to enter their finished concepts/prototypes.

University of South Florida | College of Engineering | Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Last Modified on Wednesday December 15, 2010