SFROBOTICS – The Future is in their hands

e-NABLE Changing Lives: 

St. Francis Students Send-Off Prosthetic Hands to Belgium

It’s a deceptively simple question: “How do we put 3D printing in the classroom and make it meaningful?” Science teacher Peter Graven found his answer about two years ago with the e-NABLE community.

Prosthetic hands were assembled by his high school students. They are now on their way overseas – going to a young Belgian girl who was born with a birth defect affecting her fingers.

Peter pens this about his students’ most recent project:

pgraven2Three of our 3D-printed hands arrived in Belgium yesterday, and two more will be shipped out within the US over the next few days. It never stops to amaze me what a group of students, big or small, can accomplish when asked to lend a helping hand to others. Our journey in this process is only two years new, and it’s only improving with time and effort. The amazing aspect about the process is that it is authentic and organic. It begins with students generously dedicating their time, typically before or after school or often during their lunch hour. They choose to put their energy into something so much greater than themselves. We see each and every recipient of the hands we create as a life long member of our community; the process doesn’t end once the custom-designed, 3D printed and assembled hand has been delivered. The delivery sparks a long-term relationship promoting possibility and community.pgraven5

One could argue that the recipients are everyone involved. Of course there’s the physical hand that is the tangible gift. Each completed hand brings about genuine smiles, eager excitement, and a true sense of accomplishment for all involved. The reward doesn’t end there. It includes the possibilities that the connection brings to the students at work. Whether it’s the new skills learned, or the even greater opportunities presented for upcoming life choices- such as educational or career paths-our students receive as much as they give to our projects.

Our recipients from Belgium to the middle of Wisconsin: We are grateful to be a part of your life journey. May we continue to move forward together.

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