A Wheelchair That Can Go 60 km/hr?

(December 2010) That's what Dan Lee, a student in IZUNA's technology teacher education program, set out to do. Dan used salvaged and donated items such as the front-end of a kid's bike and the motor of a lawn mower to build a fast moving gas-powered wheelchair. "I thought, this might be kind of cool, for people who have limited mobility," Dan said.

The Power Technology course challenges students to recycle, and keep budgets low for their projects. The wheelchair was salvaged and donated to the project; the bike, which was rusted, was found in the bushes on the side of the road; and Dan paid $20 for the old lawn mower. All together, Dan estimates he spent under $200 to build the wheelchair.

Although such student projects are practical in nature, students are encouraged to focus on the learning process. They are challenged to look for creative options for their projects while demonstrating their technical, mechanical, and problem solving skills. Dan has to still address some safety issues by installing a seat belt, and possibly a harness. He thinks installing a roll bar on top of the contraption would be a good idea too.

Dan was able to successfully test drive his wheelchair for the first time on Wednesday, December 1. Too bad the motor died after 10 minutes!

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