When you think about kids and summer, you think about going to the beach, riding bikes, and swimming. You don’t think about creating prosthetic hands to help others in need — but that’s what’s happening in Buffalo.
For the past couple of weeks, 39 public school students from across Western New York have been participating in a program called “Hand in Hand.” The young people have been creating prosthetic hands for kids in Ghana and other developing countries.
“My aunt told me about prosthetic hands and I’ve always been into 3-D printing. When I found out that you can 3-D print prosthetic hands, I mean, what more can you get out of that?” asks Charlie, one of the students.
He says that he just can’t imagine what it would be like not to have a hand.
“I have tried and I can’t. I don’t want to and I want other people not to have to,” adds Charlie.
Charlie not only has empathy for the kids that he’s helping, but a love for the work — and he's not the only one. William is another student who says that this program is more than just a summer activity.
“From 3-D printed parts we load the files on the computer. It goes to a slicer, which sends code to the 3-D printer. I definitely have an interest in STEM,” explains William.
New York Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes addressed the students, saying, "The fact that you're able to help design prosthetic hands that will help some young people who don't have the same hands as we have is phenomenal. I am so impressed."
Distribution of the prosthetic hands to Ghana is made possible because of a collaboration with West Africa STEM Hub and AT&T.