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Toys Engineered By TU Students Bring Smiles At Tulsa's Little Light House

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A slide might not seem like a revolution, until you realize regular slides aren't as safe as this one, and not as much fun for children who get so much out of the sensation of riding on rollers. A slide might not seem like a revolution, until you realize regular slides aren't as safe as this one, and not as much fun for children who get so much out of the sensation of riding on rollers.
The car, called the magic rider, is one-of-a-kind, designed so children, even without full control of their own bodies, can control something that moves. The car, called the magic rider, is one-of-a-kind, designed so children, even without full control of their own bodies, can control something that moves.
TU engineering student Austin Cookson. TU engineering student Austin Cookson.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

If smiles can gauge the success of an engineering project, two new toys at Tulsa's The Little Light House are a success. They were built to order for children who need almost everything they use to be customized for their disabilities.

They gave the children with a limited ability to move a chance to experience a little bit of freedom. The kids loved it, and wanted to go again and again.

The car, called the "magic rider," is one-of-a-kind, designed so children, even without full control of their own bodies, can control something that moves.

That's important.

"It's all about learning and having fun in their environment, instead of just being held or carted around in their environment," said occupational therapist Anne McCoy.

The car and a slide were both created by mechanical engineering students at the University of Tulsa. It was their senior project.

See Past Senior Design Projects

"We know we're giving these kids a unique experience, something they've never done before," said TU engineering student Austin Cookson.

A slide might not seem like a revolution, until you realize regular slides aren't as safe as this one, and not as much fun for children who get so much out of the sensation of riding on rollers.

"We built it for the kids and the kids love it, so we couldn't be happier," Cookson said.

The engineering students are a week away from graduation and moving on to jobs or advanced degrees.

"When else in my life or career as an engineer, will I have the opportunity to build something like this? I hope it comes again," said TU student Will LePage.

The projects were selected by TU students back in October, who also built a new exhibit space for the Tulsa Zoo.

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