Friday, November 8, 2013

Incredible Motion: Frontier Wheelchairs

“Integration of business and a love for God.” The framed quote hangs prominently in the workshop, and is lived out even more pointedly through the work of the students who fill the room.

A typical day in the Frontier Wheelchairs workshop.
Frontier Wheelchairs is a senior design course held every year at LeTourneau University. Its purpose: to develop customized wheelchair equipment for special-needs children in Guatemala.

The team travels every spring break to the developing nation to assist non-profit organization Hope Haven International, which regularly distributes pediatric wheelchairs to children in need.

In a country where regular meals can be considered a luxury, disability accommodations are slim. Children who suffer from diseases such as cerebral palsy require customized wheelchairs that are often not readily available. Hope Haven International and LeTourneau student innovation are a remedy.

The students of Frontier Wheelchairs spend the academic year using mechanical and civil engineering skills to develop optimum designs for wheelchair functionality. This year they are designing a new, larger size wheelchair for older children. The goal is to provide a rugged design that can be built in-country for less than $300. 

"The students will have a great opportunity to take their prototype to Guatemala to see how it functions in those conditions and get advice from the manufacturers." Faculty Advisor Norman Reese said.

Hope Haven is grateful for the added help. During last year’s trip, wheelchair technician Gustavo Rodas expressed his appreciation: “We are thankful because all this help serves to enrich our work…We’re thankful as for them and their character. They’ve left so much to inspire us to serve many others.”

It is expected that hundreds of children will receive greater mobility because of Frontier Wheelchairs’ dedication to excellent engineering and passion for showing Biblical kindness – a true integration of business and love for God.

1 comment:

  1. My husband was on Frontier Wheelchairs last year... and he choose to propose in the wheelchair lab the evening after the final presentation in the spring. Sweet memories in that room!