NORTHWOOD, N.D. — A northern Red River Valley high school robotics team has spent months building a motorized wheelchair from scratch to help a little girl in need.

The Thunder Robotics Team specializes in gadgets, like robots can pick up and throw a ball. But this summer, the students from Northwood and Hatton High School used most of their time to help Emma Basting, a 4-year-old girl who was left paralyzed a few years ago by a tumor on her spine.

"We made the actual joystick to control the chair," explained Dylan Enger, a junior from Hatton High School. "(It allows her to) to swivel in and out so she can get in and out of the chair more easily."

The students don't know Emma, but they wanted to do what they could to help her. Donations helped the students raise the $800 to buy parts. A brand new chair could have cost thousands.

"She has a whole life ahead of her and anything we can do to help her take that life back is well worth it," Enger said.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

After months of work, they gave Emma the chair this week. Now, she can chase her brother around the house for hours without getting tired.

"It gives you a chance to inspire others," said Myelle Redding, a sophomore. "There's nothing more satisfying than seeing that smile on that little girl's face."

Emma's mom said her chair has brought laughter and excitement to their home and hearts.