The Vilonia High School Technology Student Association soared, last week, in a state competition earning a first place medal in a manufacturing prototype competition where the goal was to create an accessory for a wheelchair to hold items for the disabled.
The design was the project of 11th grade student Lindzie Lunsford, who happens to be the only girl in her pre-engineering class at VHS, as well as one of a few female high school students in the state at state competitions. VHS pre-engineering/physics teacher Jami Eubanks said Lindzie’s accomplishment is a “notable feat." First, because of the design and recognition and second “not many females sign up for engineering/STEM classes.”
The project, Lindzie said, took many hours of research as well as ingenuity and creativity. Crediting her peers with helping her, she said the classroom 3D printer, was used to create a small version of the prototype. Explaining the process, she said, engineering design software, software actually used as a licensed engineer, is used in the development. You just place the design in the printer and “amazingly” out pops the prototype.
Lindzie’s design of the basket is designed to rotate from front to back and may be used as an arm rest. It also has a cup holder.
“Everything is better with a cup holder,” Lindzie joked. The large version, which she presented, at the competition was constructed mostly out of recycled items. For instance, the covering was used leather from an old bench. About the only thing she purchased was Velcro and hinges.
The project was something that, Lindzie said, she really liked because she believes that it is something that could really help others.
As far as her participation in a field predominately with male students, Lindzie said, it doesn’t bother her “one bit.” However, she said, she does get a bit nervous in front of the judges. She is now eligible to represent Arkansas TSA at the national TSA competition this summer.
This is Lindzie’s second year as an engineering student at VHS. It’s also Vilonia's second year to have a state affiliated engineering/robotics club.
*Editor's note: For privacy and security purposes, students faces are not shown when their accomplishments are singled out on the school website.