Bike race inspired sensory project
Nidderdale Children’s Resource Centre in Killinghall near Harrogate offers short breaks to children and young people with special needs. In 2019, the UCI Road World Championship bike race was held in Harrogate, and one of the stages went right past the facility, prompting member of staff Andy Barton to design an art and educational project with the kids and parents which would ultimately be installed in the sensory garden on site, and demonstrate various engineering principles linked to bikes. For construction, Andy approached Remap for help.
Harrogate and Ripon Group engineer Norman Williams made the required large wooden cogs, which the kids and parents then decorated with glitter. The kids and parents also created montage panels from cycling pictures and photos stuck onto plywood boards, which were then varnished. Engineer Ian Midgley worked with Andy to turn his idea and outline design into reality by machining teflon bearings, bespoke axles, constructing the box, and adding a small generator to power LEDs to light the internals of the box when the handle is turned. A perspex disk with foam around the rim represents the wheel, and also keeps fingers away from the chain behind.
The project was a great success and team effort. The wooden cogs, generator and chain make a terrific noise, and the kids can see the workings through the coloured and illuminated windows, and thoroughly enjoyed their part in the creation of the project.