Cool Schools: Michigan City High School builds sensory room

“Cool School’s” was in Michigan City this week. This time students on a local robotics team used their hobby to benefit their fellow classmates!

One teacher, Ralph Gee, told us he teaches two doors down from the special education department and that “you could actually hear the special needs students not being able to express themselves or be able to calm down from interactions and so forth.”

So, Gee decided to do something about it.

One year later, the robotics team has transformed an ordinary classroom into an oasis for students to escape to during the day.

The sensory room is packed with comfy chairs, flashing lights, colorful walls, a ball pit and much more.

Maryclaire Maroney, a special education teacher, tells us this room has made a huge difference for her students.

“The sensory room means so much to our students because they get more opportunities to learn, grow, express themselves. They get to use their imagination. They have things to look at, things to touch, they have many new ways to calm down and focus. A lot of our students need that because, reading and writing, they learn all of that, but they need somewhere that really gives them the opportunity to use the gifts that they have. For instance, the ball pit, they love to play with the balls and move them around and move their bodies around because it gives them a new sensation. The lights, they can stare at the lights and watch all the different movements and it just involves them in new ways.”

But the special need students are not the only ones benefitting from this project. Rishi Verma, one of the 11th grade students who helped transform the sensory room, told us “it was really nice how we used our robot building skills to actually help other. We learned that our skills of building robots could actually be used in different aspects of everyday life.”

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