St. Francis Students Send-Off Prosthetic Hands to Belgium
Prosthetic hands assembled by high schoolers are now on their way overseas. The send-off happened Thursday morning - going to a young Belgian girl who was born with a birth defect affecting her fingers.
It's been about two years since teachers and students at Deer Creek Intermediate School started the program 3D printing hands for people who have disabilities. And the programs is starting to pick up speed.
Georgia Hancock is one of the students working on the project along with Colton Feirer - both freshman at St. Francis High School continuing to answer the question asked by their 8th grade science teacher.
"How do we put 3D printing in the classroom and make it meaningful?" Deer Creek Intermediate School Science Teacher Peter Graven said.
The answer came through a group called "Enable" which matches 3D printer users with people who need prosthetics.
"A lot of people have birth defects where they're missing parts of their fingers or their entire palm," Feirer said.
"Prosthetic hands are very expensive but now that we have 3d printing technology it's kind of at our fingertips. We can do whatever we want with it," Hancock said.
"The easiest part is assembly and then getting all the pieces to fit. But from there it gets in to the wiring and you have to drill holes through them depending on how clean they are," Feirer said.
"What take the most time is probably putting the strings through the hand. There's all types of different strings that we use. There's actually different types of string within the hand," Hancock said.
"The big challenge is just finding time. We're doing this outside of the normal academic schedule so a lot of time it's either before school, after school, or during the lunch hour," Graven said.
Per hand the cost is about $20-$25. DHL shipping is even picking up the bill for their package to Europe.
But the kids say the experience is worth something more.
"And it's a good feeling to be able to use technology that's awesome to do awesome things for other people," Hancock said.
The shipping company says the hands are expected to arrived in Belgium by Monday.