04/04/2014 05:55 pm ET

Arkansas Students Learn To Build Dog Wheelchairs

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The project began when teacher Georgia Summit's Chihuahua mix, Lila, started having trouble walking because of two slipped disks in her spine. The surgery to repair Lila's spine problem was $4,500 and came with an 80 percent chance of permanent paralysis, so Summitt began researching dog wheelchairs. As Summitt said to the Jonesboro Sun, "after you've had a sick pet and you have to pay the expenses, who can afford that?"

So, she took the issue to her students, seeing it as a chance for them to put mathematics into practical application.