Sixth Grade Students Create Prosthetic Hands With 3D Printers

Technology is used at Coventry’s Captain Nathan Hale Middle School to hone the problem solving skills of the students. The sixth graders are so inspired by it that they are considering it a dream come true. For instance, for 11-year-old Karlee Small it is dream opportunity to create prosthetic hands using 3D printers. Small says, “This is my dream. I always wanted to work in the medical field and this is just one step closer to my dream.” These equipment will be sent across the world for those who need it.

Such a sophisticated project is no less than a lesson in computer skills and manufacturing. In fact, the students are taught to use technology in order to solve problems and value generosity.

It was Jeffrey Spivey, the challenge and enrichment teacher who came up with the idea. According to him the students are no more making something that will grace their toy shelves, rather these will go to the ones who actually need it. All of it is for good purpose. Spivey was inspired by Enabling the Future (enablingthefuture.org),a global network of volunteers, who use 3D printers to “give the world a helping hand.”  As per plan, by the end of the year, the sixth grade students will provide 20 prosthetic hands. These are to be sent overseas and distributed amongst students in the developing countries.

Although it is a Good Samaritan project but the 3D printers are expensive. Each piece costs around $3,000. However, Spivey struck a special deal wherein they purchased three printers at a reduced cost. According to Dena DeJulius, the Principal, such an investment is paying off. The students are eager to help in such a project. The process requires precise and proper work where each hand takes about 24 hours to be printed. And as 11-year-old Wade Stinson states, “If you mess up, don’t give up. Just keep going and do it again.”

The project has helped in opening up the young minds and the students admit it. Spivey, on the other hand, is keen to expand it and also create prosthetic paws for puppies.

 

Tune into Monday’s FOX 61 Morning News if you want to see the 3D printers at work!