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Service Learning Program Gains Momentum

Three-year-old Matteo Mah takes a test ride on a quadricycle adapted by a team of Jacobs School students for the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) toy library. UCP is one of three new community clients who signed on this year to participate in the Jacobs School’s Teams in Engineering Service (TIES) program.

The Jacobs School team (see image below: l-r Stephanie Fan, Billy Ikosipentarhos, Preetam Sarma and Casey Jowers) decided to focus on a quadricycle because it is more stable than a standard tricycle and can be pedaled both backwards and forwards. They replaced the cycle’s hand brake with an electromagnetic braking system which can easily be activated by the child with a large push button on the steering wheel, or by the parent with a wireless remote control.The team plans to continue to refine their prototype this fall, before turning it over to UCP where it will be available on loan to children with disabilities throughout San Diego County.

TIES deploys multi-disciplinary teams of UCSD students to create technology solutions for nonprofit community partners. Launched in 2004, the program continued to gain momentum in 2005, with more than 70 students participating each quarter on eight projects. In addition to UCP, this year’s newest TIES clients include San Diego elementary schools and Save Our Children’s Sight, which provides vision screening for low-income preschoolers.

l-r Stephanie Fan, Billy Ikosipentarhos, Preetam Sarma and Casey Jowers
l-r Stephanie Fan, Billy Ikosipentarhos, Preetam Sarma and Casey Jowers