Thesis: Over the course of the past few weeks, I have been improving and prototyping my project, to ensure the final product will be durable, engaging, and fun. I have built a sensory tool, that will help an individual become independent, through an athletic approach, to build dexterity, gross-motor, fine-motor, and hand-eye coordination skills.
Construction Process: As shown in the photos, my project has evolved dramatically. In photo one, my project is very fragile, the cardboard bends and the legs fall off. So, to fix this misstep, cardboard was added to the very bottom, under the styrofoam, and thick wooden dowels were fixed to the underside of the top cardboard, these corrections are shown in photo two. This was my second design, and after further renovations, I came to my final design and was ready to construct the final product (photo 3). First, I drilled holes in a wood frame, as the cardboard in the first photo. The holes are to attach the stretchy cloth, shown in photo five, with the nuts and bolts in photo four, to the wooden frame. Next, I cut thicker wooden dowels as the legs. These legs, shown in photo six, are screwed to the wooden frame, making them a strong, hardy, perfect fit for the end product. In photo seven, the positioning shows how the finished tool would have looked if it were finished. As a finishing touch, I put targets to add more levels of play, to make the tool more like a game.
Feedback: After I presented at High Hoses, I received feedback that would further improve my project. One idea that was pointed out is how the ball bouncing back at the rider and horse could present an issue. It was suggested that the ball and the stretchy cloth could have Velcro, so the ball would not bounce back at the user. This could prevent stressful situations. I also got suggested to have a bucket to put different size balls in. I really like the idea of a progression for varied sizes of balls, and maybe even different shapes.
Next Steps and Significance: Overall if I had more time I would have spent more time to add grommets around the holes in the stretchy fabric to prevent further ripping that could result in the material breaking. I would also continue to finish my project, and apply the feedback from high horses. The goal of my project was to give a patient at high horses the confidence and skill to go and play a sport that they have wanted to, by building up the necessary skill to excel at any sport.