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Mercer engineers continue work adapting toys for children with disabilities

Through the Go Baby Go program, Mercer students have created over 100 adaptive toy cars for kids

MACON, Ga. — Since 2016, Mercer's engineering students have put their skills to good use re-creating toy cars for children with disabilities through the Go Baby Go Powered Mobility Program.

Go Baby Go was initially created by Dr. Cole Galloway at the University of Delaware in 2012. Since then, the program has spread across the country.

In Macon, students and engineers have adapted over 100 ride-on electric cars for children who otherwise wouldn't be able to play with them.

For engineering professor Dr. Philip McCreanor, it's important to make sure children don't feel excluded because of their differences.

"Children need to be able to explore, to develop mentally, socially, and intellectually," says McCreanor. "I don't know how you put a number or words to the impact that has."

Twice a year, Mercer students gather for "blitz builds" where they adapt over 15 toy cars during the course of two days.

Even though the pandemic has put a pause on those sessions, McCreanor says students are still eager to continue adapting toys for children through their scholar's projects.

And engineering students aren't the only ones working with the program. 

Physical therapist from Mercer and Navicent Health are also involved in adapting the cars to help build children's motor skills while they play.

"Children may look at these hurdles and think, 'I'm never going to be able to do this. The world is not set up for me,'" says McCreanor. "Well, the world can be set up for them. This is out there for you. People want to help."

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