It sounds hard to believe, but some seventh graders in Sand Springs are making a prosthetic hand on a 3D printer.
Sand Springs' Clyde Boyd Middle School science teachers Kenneth Cole and Janet Johnson said, as part of the seventh-grade science curriculum, students learn about how muscles, tendons and ligaments work together to make our hands and fingers move.
Well, they decided to take that learning to the next step and get a 3D printer involved and actually make a hand.
"We got the idea to make a real hand so they can see that bio-engineering can make a difference in people's lives," Johnson said.
So, they applied for a grant; one of the teachers on the grant approval board said there was a high school student in Sand Springs born without a hand, and now they had a real subject.
They invited him over, kids asked him questions and took measurements; Rilee Buchanan said that made all the difference.
"Then we knew what sizes we were wanting. It worked a lot better," she said.
The 400 seventh graders all contributed to the project, and the school now has three 3D printers which have been working overtime, creating parts for the hand.
Their subject has a bit of a wrist, and moving his wrist moves the fingers.
Johnson said, "He'll be able to pick up whatever he wants to pick up."
Look what happens when you energize a group of students and let them consider all the possibilities.
The students still have some modifications to make, but when the hand is finished, we’ll stop back by and see how it works.