As Easter is welcomed this weekend and next weekend in churches, homes, and local events, some bomb squads have come up with an innovative way to make sure that all children can participate in very special Easter egg hunt around the country.
Even for children without special needs, hunting for Easter eggs can be very difficult. Since 2010, the St. Charles County, Missouri Bomb Squad has been making eggs that chirp since 2010 to ensure that visually impaired children can also participate. This year, they also hosted an Easter egg featuring their high-tech Easter eggs hunt for all special needs children. The hunt was supported by the St. Charles County Parks & Recreation Department and the St. Charles County Police Department.
Corporal Steve Case led his team in the project, reporting to NPR’s All Things Considered that he originally got the idea at a national conference for bomb technicians. Since then, he has been helping his crew perfect the craft of Easter egg making. He reports that they can complete the wiring of the eggs in about 10 minutes, after some practice. They didn’t release their design, but it seems to simply involve a switch on the outside for turning the chirping on or off and a speaker or piezo buzzer to make the sounds. –A fun little project you could tackle yourself even incorporating a microcomputer for more high-tech interactions.
The St. Charles Police didn’t just hold an Easter egg hunt for the visually impaired, they also held special hunts for children with mobility issues, sensory issues, and autism. Case, who had an 18-year-old son with autism wants to make this event an annual part of the St. Charles community.
He told NPR, “I know what it means when a family has to not do things because their kids are just a little bit different. So yeah, it’s been kind of the driving force on my end, too, working with these special needs families.”
Other Police department bomb squad around the country have followed suit with chirping Easter egg hunts of their own, which cater to special needs children. Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department worked with the county’s “Vision Program”. Another squad in Florida created beeping Easter eggs for the visually impaired, but had more than just children participating on the hunt. Sheriff, Ken Mascara, told ABC News that individuals as old as 75 enjoyed hunting and searching for the eggs in the Easter hunt.
I think I’ve been inspiring to design an Easter egg of my own. Stay tuned for my schematics on the project. For now, Happy Easter!
Lead image: STL Today / Robert Rodriguez