Middle school students make 3D-printed prosthetic hands

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- At Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, students are learning skills that jump off the page and into the three-dimensional.

"We started with projects that they found online that were already created for 3-D printing, just to see how 3-D printing worked. That kind of morphed into them designing their own projects," said Mardee Miller, the co-sponsor of the Tech Titans Club.

Miller applied for a grant to get a 3-D printer for the Tech Titans Club, and now they have three.

"It's not something that most people would be able to do, and I like doing things different, and I thought it would be fun to learn and try something new," said Tristin Deltoro, a member of the club.

"It will open up opportunities in the future. This is where the job opportunities are going, and there is so much you can do with the 3-D printer. It's limitless," said Aidan Gibson, another club member.

But, access to this technology isn't just about their future. It's also about the future of kids they've never met.

"My favorite thing we've printed would be the hand because we get to help someone in need," said club member Adam Ryan.

These seventh graders printed and assembled two prosthetic hands. The hands will be inspected and given to children in need.

"That kid will know that Robertsville Middle School students built that hand for them, and then we'll get word of who has our hand," Miller said.

"You think of most people having all of their limbs intact, but some of these kids have disabilities where they aren't able to do all the fun stuff that you do — like football, basketball — that requires both of your hands. So, whenever you have these 3-D prosthetic hands which you are able to use is pretty cool," Ryan said.

"It's awesome to watch our kids and to see the fun things that they can create; that they really can create something that could be life-changing for someone else," Miller said.

Read the original version of this article at local8now.com.