AUSTIN - Across the country, there is a big need for prosthetics but typically they cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Now, fourth graders at an Austin school are making prosthetics in their classroom.
"I thought it was going to be really hard at first," said Alexis Germer, a student at St. Gabriel's Catholic School.
However, she said she caught on pretty fast.
"First you have to print all the parts and you'll probably want to go to a website," Germer said.
Blueprints for hands can be found online and sent to a 3D printer. Normally, it takes about 20 hours to print all the parts for one hand. Once the printing is done, it's time to put the pieces together.
"There's numbers on them and that helps you to know where to put them," student Jackson Hamilton said.
"Once all the pieces are in place, they can move this prosthetic hand and it will act like their actual hand."
The total price to make a 3D-printed hand is about $30, which is much cheaper than a basic factory-manufactured prosthetic.
"Prosthetics are thousands of dollars," explained St. Gabriel's science and social studies teacher Stephanie Nguyen.
Nguyen tells KVUE that at the end of the year, her students will send five hands to the non-profit Enable.
"They will help distribute the hands throughout the world to people who are asking for them on the internet," Nguyen said. "This has been a wonderful project for them."
"I've worked really hard on this and it actually goes to somebody who really needs it," Hamilton said.
Nguyen says she couldn't be prouder that her fourth graders are making a difference which she hopes other students will strive for.
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