Four engineering students built a greenhouse for the West Texas Rehab Center as part of a class project.
The team worked to relocate the center’s tower garden which is part of the pediatric food program, said Eric Hamilton, the project leader and a junior from Harker Heights. The team had a budget of $1000, but they saved money so the project only cost $638. The group spent more than 200 hours designing and building the 8-by-8 foot greenhouse.
“We’re doing something with our department, rather than just taking classes and learning the books,” Hamilton said. “We’re actually taking that and applying it to real world situations and tackling a problem that they have.”
The group included Tad Kile, a junior from Richardson, Jamie Wright, a junior from Odessa, and Clay Abel, a junior from Austin. All four students were in the engineering Junior Clinic with Dr. Tim Kennedy, executive co-director and assistant professor of engineering and physics.
“One of his bigger goals with this class is not only to create a project to help teach the juniors how to go through the engineering design process,” Kile said, “but to also help give back, which is why all the projects that the class built were donations.”
Amy Gibbs, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist for the West Texas Rehabilitation Center, asked the group to relocate the garden to protect it from weather and regulate the temperature, Hamilton said. The food program allows children and teens to learn how to grow cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries and other plants.