"When you get a text that says 'if you want to work on a secret project,' you naturally reply," said Grant, a senior at RHS' eSTEM Academy. That secret text was the brainchild of Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jocelyn Cosgrave, who wanted to surprise students who need help with their daily living skills with a safe space to go when they are overwhelmed with emotion or senses.
Mr. Thomie Timmons, RCS' Innovation Coordinator and HS2 STEM Academy Art Teacher Ms. Kellie Gedert assisted nine students who replied to Dr. Cosgrave's text to research, design, finance and create items for a room where students can go to take a break. "One of the things we learned during our research was that swings are great to help calm the mind," said Mr. Timmons. "However, not swings that spin, those aggravate the senses. We got a swing that sways back and forth."
Other features of the room include LED lights in calming colors, textures on different walls from rough pebbles to soft feathers. There are also balancing balls and beams, all designed with students needs in mind.
RHS students from all four academies worked on their own time over the summer and today, the staff and the "Sensory Team" as the secret group was dubbed, unveiled the room to students who would use the room. The reactions were priceless and the students were truly surprised and extremely thankful to the Sensory Team for the thoughtfulness and detail that went into the room.