Washington HS students building prosthetic hand for use in real life

Kindergarten student in Waller ISD to benefit from E-Nable project

Engineering students at HISD’s Booker T. Washington High School are connecting their learning to the real world in a very tangible way, by using a 3D printer to create a prosthetic hand and part of an arm for a kindergarten student in Waller ISD.

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The students got involved with the project through E-Nable, a global network of volunteers who build free prosthetic hands for people who were either born without them or lost them due to injury or illness. They stumbled upon the organization last fall while researching solutions for another 3D project.

“In the beginning, we were planning on building the Odysseus hand for Gracie, since it was recommended for young users,” explained Dr. Nghia Le, the students’ teacher. “However, Gracie’s mother requested that we build a five-fingered hand for her, so we are currently looking at the Raptor.”

Invented in the late 1980s, 3D printing technology has become much more advanced and affordable in the past decade. Dr. Le anticipates the hand and arm extension will take about a month to complete.

“My students and I are always looking for ways to use our knowledge to make lives better for others,” added Dr. Le. “We know that this project is challenging and we have to do a great job for Gracie. Quality is important and the students will do their best to deliver.”

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