Engineering, nursing students unite to build swing

Members of the Baylor Student Nurses Association pose for a group photo. These students, along with Baylor engineering students are working to build a swing for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

By Amanda Hargett-Granato | Reporter

Baylor engineering students have teamed up with the Baylor Student Nurses Association to design and build a special swing for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, an organization that provides families a place to stay while their children are in the hospital or receiving treatment.

The “Swing ‘Em Bears” project began last fall, and served as the senior design project for several Baylor engineering students this semester. League City senior Heather Foskit is the team lead for the six engineering students working on the project. Foskit said the goal of the project was to build a swing that can be utilized by kids who can’t use traditional playground equipment.

“One of the main reasons I went into engineering to begin with was to get into a field where I could help people with the skills that I was given,” Foskit said. “Working on this project has been a cool way to see that really come to life.”

The swing is intended to be used by children who have special needs and was designed to be light and easily movable for use in different areas of the Ronald McDonald House. It also requires no assistance from volunteers or family members as the swing has a motor to power the motion.

“This will help multiple families, volunteers and children, and I think that’s absolutely amazing,” Foskit said. “Everyone on our team is extremely motivated about this project.”

The president of the Baylor Student Nurses Association, Fulshear nursing senior Kaitlyn Po, said the collaboration began when the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas reached out to the Baylor Student Nurses Association after hearing about the swing Baylor engineering students completed last year for Dr. Jason Whitt’s daughter, Camille, who has special needs. Po said the Baylor Student Nurses Association helped with the funds for the project, raising more than the needed $2,000 through fundraising activities and donations.

“They’re still kids. They want to have fun and play and engage in typical childhood activities,” Po said of the children who will use the swing. “This swing is one way we can give back.”

According to a press release by the Baylor Louise Herrington School of Nursing, the green-and-gold swing will be presented to the Ronald McDonald House in June. The team is currently in the process of building and testing the swing. Po said the Baylor Student Nurses Association collaborates often with the Ronald McDonald House and said she enjoyed getting to partner with Baylor engineers to help the organization.

“It’s been a cool thing to get involved with students here on the Waco campus. We’re pretty detached up in Dallas,” Po said. “Any way that we can connect has been a really great opportunity.”