A team from Wethersfield High School won first place in the AbilityOne High School Design Challenge in Washington, D.C. last week.
The team worked with CW Resources, a private nonprofit participating in the AbilityOne Program that was founded in 1964 in New Britain. CW Resources provides support and employment for individuals with disabilities. They are the exclusive supplier to the Department of Defense of the steel ball chains that are used with military ID “dog tag” chains. So every active duty soldier serving since 1977 has worn a chain from CW Resources packaged by one of their workers with disabilities.
The device the team created allows a worker to perform multiple tasks in one station: Retrieving a single small envelope, opening an envelope, inserting the two metal ball chains used for military ID “dog tags” into the envelope, closing and stapling the envelope and setting the envelope aside for packaging.
The Path was created to allow employees with limited dexterity or no use of their hands to package metal chains used for military ID tags in the small envelopes.
As 1st place and “Best Overall Design” winner, the team wins $5,000, their coach wins $5,000 and Wethersfield High School is awarded $10,000.