An applied research project with a special touch

WOODSTOCK – The Carpentry and Early Childhood Educator programs at the Woodstock Campus of New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) recently joined forces to work on an applied research project with a special touch.

The two classes collaborated on the construction of a 16-foot long sensory wall hanging in the shape of a caterpillar that now graces a hallway at Meduxnekeag Consolidated School. Each segment of the caterpillar’s body is a wooden disc covered with a different material – fabric, steel, wood, rope, rocks and turf.

“It has different textures!” exclaimed a visually-impaired student as she touched the caterpillar for the first time.

“I want to touch this all day!” said another student, as she rubbed the segment covered in velvet.

Carpentry students at NBCC constructed the caterpillar, after consulting with ECE students on the materials that would spark the greatest sensory reaction of children. They also worked on a fidget board for the hallway, with various knobs and switches. Both items are in the hallway that leads to the school’s gym, by design.

“This stimulates the cognitive part of the brain, as they’re on their way to physical activity,” said ECE instructor Rebecca Derrah.

The fidget board and caterpillar are the latest in a series of projects the carpentry program has taken on for the community. This year’s pre-employment class has already built new shelving units for Carleton Manor and mobility access ramps for downtown businesses.

“They really enjoy building things that they know people in the community are going to use,” said instructor Brad Scott.

NBCC’s Applied Research and Innovation department actively engages staff and students in projects that enrich the learning experience while helping industries and communities find solutions to their challenges. With its expertise, equipment and facilities, NBCC helps solve problems, takes advantage of market opportunities and develops new, innovative processes that will enhance the way New Brunswickers live, work and do business.


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