Convenient Carrier

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In this design challenge activity, learners invent a convenient way for someone using crutches or a wheelchair to carry small personal items. Learners will experience some of the obstacles people on crutches/in wheelchairs face, brainstorm ideas for carriers, and follow the design process to invent a solution to the challenge. This activity allows learners to think about invention as a way to help people solve problems.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:

English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 armchair (represents a wheelchair)
  • crutches
  • 4 cardboard sheets per team (approx. 8.5x11 in.)
  • 20 8-oz. paper cups
  • copier paper
  • rubber bands
  • string
  • duct tape


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Center of Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Design Squad Nation


Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0810996