HUTTO, Texas -- A student just wanted to play dodge ball with his classmates, but he couldn't because he's in a wheelchair. So a few fellow Hutto Hippos stepped in to help out, and the results have been life changing.
It started out with an email sent to Hutto High School Engineering Teacher Andrew Haub. The email was about 10-year-old Hutto student Jacob Wixted.
"He wants to be more included in his PE class," said Haub.
Wixted is in a wheelchair and has limited mobility. He communicates through an eye-activated computer.
So Haub’s STEM class students started creating projects that could help Wixted play dodgeball in P.E. class.
"To see it come out like this is such like a great experience,” said sophomore Ralph Cisneroz.
Cisneroz and his team built a catapult.
"It really gave me an understanding about how things work and that they can really impact people,” said Cisneroz.
Wixted told KVUE the dodgeball catapult lets him play with his friends.
"I like the cannon, it is fun,” said Wixted. "It helped me be a part of my P.E. class.”
"It was really powerful and when we met the student it was a little emotional," said Haub.
"Seeing someone else use it and use it to their advantage is something really gratifying," said Junior Eeman Faiz who is also in the STEM class.
She said she enjoys the work they’re doing.
“I see things that are so complex, you know they seem like there are so many parts to it, taking that apart and seeing exactly how things work is something that’s really appealing to me,” said Faiz.
"I was definitely excited for school each day," said Chase Griffin. "Makes me feel like all my work is paying off, especially when it helps another person."
Tuesday, Wixted got to thank the catapult creators.
"They are awesome students,” said Wixted. "You make a difference in this world.”
"Hearing him say that we would make a difference for him specifically is a really good opportunity, I never thought I would hear that from somebody,” said Faiz.
"I really didn't know how he felt about it till he actually told me which was really exciting,” said Cisneroz.
"Thank you also, love you guys,” said Wixted.
Haub said their work is also preparing these students for a bright future.
"Every career is going to be involved in technology in some respects,” said Haub. "You're either making the machines, or you’re getting replaced by them.”
“Recently I really want to contribute to the world and solve problems and one of the best ways to do that is by building new technologies,” said Griffin. "It makes my passion for doing this greater."
Wixted is even inspired by their work.
"They built my cannon, I want to be in high school because I love building,” said Wixted.
Dozens of other students created projects as part of the STEM class from robots to rockets.
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