WHAT: Students at Norwalk High will showcase high-tech, innovative prototypes they created to help their physically disabled peers more easily navigate their classroom and campus. The project and its corresponding grant entry titled “Inspirational Inventions,” which was submitted by teacher Ken Cook, earned the class a $97,000 award from State Farm. Students will provide a demonstration of their devices, followed by a check presentation from State Farm.

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 22 at 10 a.m.

Early AM live shoots for morning TV shows available upon request.

WHERE: Norwalk High School, Room 452 (aka “The Auto Shop”), 11356 Leffingwell Road, Norwalk, CA 90650

WHY: Norwalk High School students are embarking on an ambitious project to design and build equipment that will allow disabled classmates to more easily navigate their campus and transition into classroom settings. About 12.7 percent of Norwalk High School’s student population is disabled. The project, dubbed Inspired Inventions, will involve more than 400 students over the course of the year, who will apply the know-how they amassed from a previous project building race cars to this new disability/mobility project.


  1. Race cars built by the innovative & entrepreneurial students of Norwalk High School.
  2. Disabled student showing difficulties to access classroom and, in particular, to sit on a classroom’s desk.
  3. Basic “customizable” design of the device students are planning to build with the grant money: a mechanized device to assist them from wheelchair to desk and in and out of the class through portable ramps.
  4. Other designs of non-customizable devices currently available for handicapped people, which are deemed by the students to be insufficient to fulfill their real world needs on campus.
  5. Construction materials and tools laid on the floor and tables, required to build the prototypes

Interviews (English/Spanish)

  1. Disabled student and member of the design team can talk about how the idea to apply for the grant came about, what they built in the past, and what they are planning on building.
  2. Father, mother or teacher of the disabled student explaining the challenges of mobility difficulties.
  3. State Farm representative can talk about the State Farm Youth Advisory Board “service-learning” grants
  4. To-be-confirmed Norwalk-La Mirada school district spokesperson