A little over a year ago, former Harrington student Vicky Wilcox, who works as a veterinary technician, suggested that perhaps the students in Maureen Barrett's STEM classes might have the engineering skills to help some very needy animals by designing a dog wheelchair. She put Ms. Barrett in touch with a special shelter in Prince Frederick, Maryland named Pets With Disabilities. Owners Joyce Darrell and Mike Dickerson provided the specifications, measurements and information about a dog in need of a wheelchair, and a project was born.
"It really became a cooperative project," says Ms. Barrett. "Our neighbor next door here at Harrington, Betsy Ransome, is a vet tech, and she came over and helped with some suggestions. Our custodian, Andrew Fagan, helped us figure out what what straps we would need and discussed ways we might attach them."
On March 30, Ernie and Charlotte, two disabled dogs from Pets with Disabilities traveled from Maryland to meet class members and try the wheelchair the students had designed and built. Eco Wild Club members were prepared with tools and fittings to make the appropriate adaptations on the chair.
"We fit dogs with wheelchairs almost every weekend, and so we do the adjustments frequently," said Ms. Darrell. "Every dog's disability is different and they all have different tendencies that have to be considered." Students helped to make the last-minute adjustments to the device, including shortening the top bars and moving some clips that secure the pet safely."
And when the work was done, Ernie was not shy in strolling around the room to show his appreciation.
Members of Harrington's Boys' Basketball team were honored with Recognition Awards by the Board of Education on Tuesday, March 28. The team brought its 14-1 season to a close by defeating Pennsauken Middle School 40-33 to win the Western Burlington County Basketball League Championship Title.