Students create fidgets for community members with Alzheimer’s

Students create fidgets for community members with Alzheimer’s
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:32 AM EDT
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High school students in Harrisonburg are putting their engineering skills to good use. Engineering students at Harrisonburg High School are finishing up a special project. Students are making “fidgets” for patients with Alzheimer’s disease in memory units in our local long-term care facilities.

“A hand-sized wooden toy that is cut into multiple pieces and can be turned. It has different pieces that are different colors and they’re bound together by an elastic cord and you can turn the different pieces of it and it just sort of feels good in the hand and gives you something to mess with and has nice colors and a good feel to it,” said Andy Jackson, an engineering teacher at Harrisonburg High School.

Jackson says the project gives his students a chance to make an impact on the community and show them what engineering is really about.

“I’ve never made something like this. It’s nice that my work is going to go somewhere,” said Veronica Gutierrez, an engineering student. “Because we have to make it symmetrical, I tried to choose a simple shape so I chose an avocado.”

Other students making their fidget anything from a lacross racket to a carrot. Jackson says he has seen so much creativity from his students.

When the students are finished, the fidgets will be donated to VMRC and Bridgewater Retirement Home.

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