By: Seth Johnson

The image shows four people standing together in front of a backdrop with various logos. They are all wearing black t-shirts with the text "Make48" on them.Last month, Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) students Chase, Jazmine, and Olivia traveled to Kansas State School for the Blind in Kansas City to take part in an imaginative Make48 competition, facing off with other schools for the blind from California, Maryland, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington.

Accompanied by ISBVI staff members Ann Alvar and Shawn Humphrey, the team of students was presented with a challenge and tasked with building a physical prototype, creating a sales sheet, producing a one-minute marketing video, and pitching their big idea to a panel of judges — all within a 48-hour timespan.

Before leaving for Kansas City, the ISBVI students were given the hint of “It’s Gym-Tastic” when it came to what kind of prototype they’d be tasked with creating. While the team initially thought this hint would have something to do with sports, they eventually found out otherwise.

“The topic was, ‘Take something that already exists and make it more adaptive,’” says ISBVI student Olivia.

While taking part in the competition, Olivia says she especially enjoyed getting to interact with students from other states.

“I just liked getting to meet people who were from other blind schools across the country. Some of us were comparing things, like, ‘Oh, we have this at our school,’ and stuff like that,” she says.

In reflecting on the competition’s long-term impact on her life, ISBVI student Jazmine says the Make48 experience taught her a lesson in perseverance.

“When I get older, I want to be a teacher,” Jazmine says. “I think getting this experience made me understand that anything is possible if you work hard enough, and that you can do anything you set your mind to. I think that’s a really good understanding to have early on.”

For a closer look at the ISBVI students’ experience at the Make48 competition, stay tuned for two Make48 episodes that will air at a later date on the Make48 YouTube channel and Roku TV's This Old House Makers Channel.





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