MHS metals classes help give mobility to people around the world

The small metal components fabricated by students in Lee Daub’s classes don’t look like much on their own, but together they mean giving someone on the other side of the world the gift of mobility.

Students in Daub’s Machine Metals and Advanced Metals classes at Marshalltown High School are creating parts for Personal Energy Transportation (PET) vehicles, a kind of hand-operated tricycle given to people in poor nations immobilized by war and disease.

Daub first heard about PET International through someone at his church who participated. He has had students work on it before, but never to this scale. At the end of this week the 18 students in three sections will have fabricated the parts to build 100 PET vehicles. Through PET International the vehicles are shipped around the world to more than 60 countries.

The vehicles are designed for places without paved roads – where wheelchairs aren’t effective. Daub’s students are building parts for the steering column and brake levers.

Students had examples of each component and from there reverse engineered them to find out how to start. Materials for the project were donated. Daub said the project has allowed the students to learn some new skills and new welding techniques.

In the end, the project will have taken about three weeks. The parts will be shipped to Hawarden in Northwest Iowa and from there to a PET International location for assembly and use somewhere in the world.