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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Silas Hoffman uses engineering skills to adapt toys for kids with disabilities

Julia Evanshttps://pearlcitymedia.com
Julia Evans works as a writer, editor, and content developer for Discover Muscatine.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa –Giving to those in need comes naturally to Silas Hoffman, a Muscatine High School senior who has found that kindness truly can go a long way. And when that kindness is coupled with his passion for robotics and electronics, that’s the cherry on top.

While browsing Facebook, Silas saw a post that inspired him to utilize his interest in robotics while giving back to area children who could benefit from specially modified toys that make them easier to enjoy.

“I heard that there are kids out there who need their toys to be adapted because they have special needs, or they don’t have the dexterity to press a small button, so I looked up how to take apart a toy that has interactive lights, buttons, or movement, and use wiring and soldering to make it work with a larger button.”

For the past 6 months, Silas has been working with the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency and the Muscatine Early Learning Center to spread the word about his project. He’s received dozens of toy donations from community members and monetary donations from individuals and organizations that have been used to purchase toys online.

So far, Silas has engineered and modified nearly 50 toys, which have all been donated to the Muscatine Early Learning Center. With their closet nearly full, he’s looking forward to supplying the Muscatine AEA Center with his modified toys as well. “It’s such a good feeling to give back and see people make use of and enjoy my creations,” he said.

When asked how long he plans to continue, he replied, “I don’t see an end in sight because we’re trying to get as many as we can so more and more people in need have an unlimited access to them.” If you’d like to donate any gently used interactive electronic toys with buttons, lights, etc. to Silas’ project, contact Discover Muscatine for more information.

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