Omaha Student Develops Virtual Physical Therapy Program

by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First

An Arkansas student with a physical disability comes up with an invention that he hopes will  help others like him.

It’s all made possible through a technology program called EAST — which stands for “Education  Accelerated by Service Technology,” where students are encouraged to use critical thinking and creative problem solving in real life situations.

14-year-old Parker Stroebeck, a sophomore at Omaha High School, who has Muscular Dystrophy, created a virtual physical therapy program.

“Pairing it with therapy is making it a lot..making therapy a lot more enjoyable if you will,” said Stroebeck, “Getting you to want to like move around to go and like look at stuff uh..grab stuff. Get a better view of what you’re trying to see.”

Stroebeck says he hopes his invention will help make life easier for people with Muscular Dystrophy.

“Show a better way to like give therapy.. like that –and just getting the word out about like thinking of different ways like you can help with..like if you’re a therapist, different ways you can go about giving therapy to people with Muscular Dystrophyand if you yourself have Muscular Dystrophy,” said Stroebeck.

Parker’s project resulted from a team effort.

“The amount of movement that you see him do in VR the difference you can see..it’s amazing,” said Zachary Caputo, Parker’s co-laborer, ‘I just hope that in the long run that this can become more than just a project in school. I really hope it can help a lot of people.”

Stroebeck and Caputo are hoping to enter their project in the EAST Conference, coming up in Hot Springs next March.