Fourth grade students are using 3D printers and their interest in technology to lend a helping hand — literally — to one of their schoolmates.
More than 150 students have spent the past six months designing and building prosthetic hands and tools for people that are missing part of their limb. With help from PicoTurbine and district STEM educators, the 9- and 10-year-old students spent more than 50 hours at work on the project.
On Thursday morning, the students gathered at School 20 to display their printed hands and tools they designed as part of the district’s E-Nable program. Their projects including different eating utensils and contraptions to help make everyday tasks similar for people with one hand.
The Prosthetic Experts, a four-girl team from School 5, took home first place and a brand new 3D printer from PicoTurbine. Amber Seniuk, Maab Iqbal, Sarah Nefzi, and Izraah Zafur designed a clip that attaches to the thumb of the prosthetic to easily hold a spoon or other small items.
“It was really hard to come up with an attachment for the prosthetic that actually worked,” said Amber Seniuk, 10.
The hand the girls designed will now be completed with more technology to create a fully functional prosthetic. Once complete Chrystian Stephens, a second grade student at School 30, is going to be given the prosethic to use.
Chrystian was born without a hand. Standing a little nervous in front of more than 200 people, he delivered a short, but powerful message to the group gathered at the school.
“You worked super hard,” he said to the older students. “Don’t give up your dreams.”