Students bring dreams to life
Typical amusement parks aren’t always the most welcoming places for young people using wheelchairs or other adaptive equipment, or those with sensory issues. But that could change in the future, thanks to several innovative designers at Oak-Land Middle School.
A group of six 7th and 8th grade special education students and their general education peers worked together to imagine, design and build an interactive model of what an inclusive and adapted park could look like. Cathleen Costello, Camryn Handberg, Anella Rosckes, Adele Majeski, Izzy Doliver Schmidt, and Abi Kowalski chose a Fairy garden theme for their amusement park concept. They used reclaimed materials to build the model, which features twinkling lights, flowers, and several colorful fairies. They built three rides and 1 carnival-style game that utilize buttons and switches so people of all ability levels can play and participate in the fun.
The students had hoped to showcase their park idea during DaVinci Fest, the district’s arts and science festival. But when DaVinci was canceled due to COVID concerns, the students held their own open house instead. Students, teachers and families visited their classroom and the theme park creators showed off all of the special features of their unique park.
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