Submitted by Andrea Chase, member, Walnut Hills High School Parent Board
The Walnut Hills High School Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) team placed among the top 30 teams of the National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC). NEDC is an annual engineering design competition challenging students to design and build an assistive technology device to help a person with disabilities succeed in his or her workplace.
The team from Walnut Hills designed Umbrella Fella, a device which connects to a wheelchair and is used to hold an umbrella. Jon Moller, co‑president of the team, was inspired to suggest this product after meeting mechanical engineer, Fred Wittmeyer, at the VA hospital. Mr Wittmeyer had been thinking about how to make an umbrella holder for his own wheelchair but had not yet come up with a viable idea.
The Walnut Hills JETS team did the research, design and construction for the first round of the competition. They were one of 30 teams (out of 250 teams nationally) to advance to the semi‑final round. Semi‑finalist teams were required to create a six-minute video presentation, which included goals of feasibility, marketability, construction and testing of the device.
Although Walnut Hills was not chosen as a finalist, the JETS team members are proud of their accomplishment in assisting people with disabilities with this product. Click here to view the JETS video.
Walnut Hills High School, located in the community of Evanston, offers a nationally acclaimed college preparatory program, and is part of the portfolio of Cincinnati Public Schools.