Create Mobility Devices for Kids with Movement Limitations & Build Strong Tech, Engineering & Business Skills
Have you ever wanted to make the world a better place? To invent cool stuff? To put your mad, mad skills to good use, or learn some mad skills? To help other kids? This is your chance!
This Year’s Projects
- Build up to 40 New Cars
- Create New Features for our Cars
- Action Challenges – Create small, fun devices we can add to our cars – like whiffle-ball shooters – to challenge kids to do more with their bodies.
- Better Head Support - Create a device that comfortably supports a child's head without interfering with seat belts, etc. for kids who have no neck strength.
- Foot-Drive – Design a control system that would allow a child to drive with one foot or two
- And, More!
- Design & Prototype an All-New, From-Scratch Vehicle
- That empowers kids ages 1 to 18 with movement limitations to explore, learn and grow through play indoors and out, across smooth and bumpy surfaces, and over hilly and flat terrain - but most of all to have FUN!
- Offers a variety of driving adaptations for different physical abilities, and one that offers fun challenges that engage kids to use their minds and bodies as much as they are able.
- Excites and engages other kids, inviting them to talk and play with the toy's owner.
- Compliments the child's developmental goals.
- Bring Joy & Spread the News
- Work with kids and their families to identify what they need
- Help the team design cars and features that are fun-looking and easier to use
- Produce videos illustrating the benefits our kids receive from their cars
- Publish news on our social media channels and our website
- Create memory books for the kids, their families and our volunteers
- Design brochures and posters
- Present our program to professional societies and foundations to recruit their support
The Impact on Those We Serve
The Path for You
- Technical Design
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Software Development
- Meet the Kids & Identify their Needs
- Design New Features
- Marketing & Social Media
- Project Management
- Graphic Design
- Video Production
The Benefits to You
- Do Good – At the end of the day, this program is all about bringing hope and joy to kids who are “stuck” in bodies that will not move they way they want or will not move at all.
- Design & Build Cool Stuff – This program is not about abstract theories and laboratory work; it is about hands-on, DIY invention. Every day, you will create meaningful, real-world solutions.
- Learn Tech from the Pros – Even if you do not plan to be an engineer, you will benefit from knowing about technology. Our program will teach you sound engineering principles plus strong computer, project management, mechanical and electrical engineering skills.
- Build Business Skills – Building and programming robots is awesome, but solving real-world problems is even better. You will work with kids and their families to understand what they need, and then you will take an idea from concept to creation – working with others, building community support and more.
- Impress College Recruiters – Colleges seek out kids who have participated in invention, engineering and entrepreneurial paths because they know these kids are dedicated, logical and creative problem-solvers. And, we will make sure recruiters know what great work you have done; we will provide you with references and recommendations.
- Make Friends & Have Fun – Our team has a BLAST! We dream, design, play and work together. We make time to try new things, meet new people and hang out just for fun. We think everyone learns best when they are having a good time.
How to Get Involved
Parents and Professionals - Join the fun!
People tell us all the time that they wish that programs like this were available when they were kids. Great news! You can participate now. Whether you tag along with your child(ren) or you’re a pro, you’re welcome and needed. Join the mentor team today!
A job this huge takes a village. To build custom cars for kids with movement limitations, Geeks for Kids & the Invent for Good programs need people with lots of different skills including:
- Engineers and roboticists
- Physical and occupational therapists
- Project managers
- Marketers and social media mavens
Join the team. Get kids with movement limitations racing, and give future inventors a hand-up.
Parents play a pivotal role in this club. We strongly encourage parents to get involved and share in the group’s mentoring, planning and administration. We do understand, though, that sometimes life’s competing demands make it hard for some folks to get involved; so, we offer a drop-off program for parents who can’t attend the Club’s meetings. In recognition of their contribution to the Club, participating parents receive a 50% discount on their child’s fees.
The History of the Invent for Good Program
For the last 9 years, competitive robotics has been LEARN’s flagship program for older kids. Our robo team usually builds amazing robots from fall to early spring. They have done great work – earning top rankings in our region and winning a spot at the Missouri/Kansas Championship each year. They have traveled the world, sharing what they do and learning from others, and competing for several years at the World Championship.
As wonderful as those experiences have been, the team is always looking for new tech challenges. So, each spring when robo season ends, they apply what they have been learning in their classrooms and labs to building amazing tech to help other kids.
This year, with COVID making large competitions and travel risky, we are taking a sabbatical from robotics and focusing all our effort on inventing for good – through the Geeks for Kids program. This way, we can limit everyone’s exposure to germs, flex our schedule as COVID dictates and build even more hot rods for kids.
We have developed a COVID plan for this program with one goal – to keep you safe. When infections in our community are low, we will meet in person and follow a set of safety protocols designed to protect everyone as much as possible. (We will explain those plans at the Kickoff Party.) If infections begin to rise to a critical level, we will move to online meetings and, where possible, work from home.