Girl Scouts and SWE build canine wheelchairs
Girls interested in a future career in engineering got their first hands-on project building canine wheelchairs for dogs with limited mobility. University of Louisville engineering students, members of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Speed School of Engineering professors and Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana all worked on this special project.
Wheelchairs for dogs? People aren't the only ones who need a little help getting around.
Girl Scouts learned that engineers can solve all kinds of problems when 14 University of Louisville students in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) visited the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana office Saturday morning to work with them on assembling wheelchairs for dogs that have limited mobility because of injury or illness. And they'll see a dog or two benefiting from using the devices.
After learning about engineering's many career options and brainstorm about designing the wheelchair, more than a dozen Girl Scouts put together a canine wheelchair out of plastic piping, dowel rods, bolts and wheels. Dimensions are approximately 18 inches wide, 30 inches long and 24 inches high.
UofL engineering professors Gina Bertocci and Karen Frost, who direct a dog wheelchair project through a Canine Rehabilitation and Biomechanics Laboratory, were on hand to advise and show how the wheelchairs work. Their goal has been to design and develop a low- cost, adjustable wheelchair to fit a dog's size and improve its overall health and quality of life – and to make the design available to all who need it.
SWE donated the wheelchair from Saturday's session to a rescue dog.
ExxonMobil provided a grant for the event to teach girls about engineering.
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