Twesha Ghosh ’22 competed at the Alameda County Science and Engineering fair, which took place March 6-8, 2020. Her inclusive project, “Reach-Able” – the elevating wheelchair, won the Chevron Innovation Award as well as the Directors Special Award. The Chevron Award is a $500 scholarship given to students who demonstrate integrity, trust, diversity, ingenuity, partnership, collaboration, teamwork, and high performance through their projects.
Twesha Ghosh ’22 wins awards at the Alameda County Science and Engineering fair
Twesha describes the inspiration for her project as follows: “My ideas come from the accessible challenges that I have seen within my family and my surroundings. I try to focus on solutions that are economical and easily implementable so that it can reach a lot of people. This project aims to create an economical, affordable, self-elevating, always functional (mechanically powered) wheelchair that can be raised to a desirable height for a better quality of life.
“Today there are no self-elevating wheelchairs that are reasonably priced and battery independent. If a person in a wheelchair wants to reach for something at a height sitting in a regular wheelchair, they cannot do this without the help of another person. Elevating wheelchairs are available today and use very expensive materials to make the wheelchair self-elevating. Even so, the wheelchair only raises 6-8 inches and is not affordable to the general population. Normal wheelchairs prohibit one from reaching higher than arm’s length.
“This project aims to create a wheelchair that addresses all the issues mentioned above. The project uses a mechanical system of hydraulics to lift the seat of the wheelchair with ease and without another person. The hydraulic pump will be powered by a lever that will enable the user to elevate the seat with minimal effort.”
Her design brings hope of increased independence to those who use a wheelchair. We are proud of her work and congratulate her on her accomplishment!