Metro High School Students Build Prosthetic Hands

Saturday, June 10th 2017, 6:43 pm
By: Grant Hermes

Spending their Saturday learning, a small group of high school students took part in a one-of-kind camp on OU’s campus.

They were there building prosthetic hands. The red, white or blue plastic devices looked like toys but were actually designs used for children without fingers. The plastic acted as bones with elastic bands cut and tied in place like muscles or tendons. The hands were also designed to help the kids get a better grasp, literally, of what a life in engineering might be like.

“You get to use a lot more of your brain creating your own ideas than anything else in engineering and it's just really cool to me. When I was in high school I don’t even think I realized biomedical engineering existed I got a mailer that said we have this degree and I said what is that? Sounds like I would like it,” OU biomedical engineering professor Rachel Childer said.

Childer ran Saturday’s class.

“We'd like to like to show them that math and science is used to develop everything that we use really," she said.

The class wasn't just for students either. Southmoore science teacher Richard St. Denis was at his own table of teachers. He said he encourages his students to look into jobs in science and technology as a way to unlock their creativity. 

“In a lot of public education now it's all about just memorization of stuff where in the scientific community they value creativity and really that's what we're seeing in engineering," St. Denis said. 

Creativity that could point students to places they'd never thought of before. 

The students are also given the designs to those hands so they can go home and print out their own so they can go home and print out their handiwork.