High School Students Learn About 3D Printing While Helping Hospitalized Children Learn New Skills

Share this Article

mary1In western Long Island, New York, off the shores of Little Neck Bay, is St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. It’s a place of healing, comfort and rehabilitation for children with complex and often chronic conditions that interfere with their quality of life. According to the hospital’s website, their mission is to “help kids be kids,” which they do through a combination of recreational activities plus therapy and treatment. They’ve also recently received some help from a local high school, which is using 3D printing to help some of those kids to develop important skills and gain some independence.

Lynbrook High School’s Advanced Design and Innovation Class is studying 3D printing, and they’re using it in one of the most important ways that the technology can be: to design adaptive and assistive devices for children, namely the children at St. Mary’s Hospital. Take Mary, for example. The 17-year-old has a condition that greatly limits the movement of her wrists, and thus limits the things she can do with her hands. Thanks to a 3D printed stylus designed by the Lynbrook High students, though, she can now use an iPad to learn and play games. While a stylus might seem like an easy design, it was a lot of work for the students, who needed to figure out a way for Mary to securely grasp it – which they did by adding a triangular piece which fits into her palm, where she can curl her fingers around it.

“We printed out many prototypes to figure out sizes and dimensions, and so it’s been a long process,” said Lynbrook senior Aleksandra Ratkiewicz. “I love designing, but to know that I can put it in real life practice and change someone’s life on a daily basis is incredible.”

samira2

In some cases, the children come up with their own ways to use the devices – ways that the designers didn’t necessarily envision, but that work just as well or better. One young girl was presented with a toy intended to develop her cognitive skills by helping her to understand cause and effect. The toy consists of three blocks that can be raised and lowered by pressing down on them alternately – which the girl decided to do with her chin rather than her hands, but which still improved her cognitive skills and coordination.

blocksThe class is taught by Paul Rotstein, a technology education teacher at Lynbrook High. He’s pleased with the way the course has gone, not only for his students but for the kids they are helping. The designs give them independence, he says, allowing them to use their iPads or speech devices without assistance for the first time. In some cases, the 3D printed toys and games serve another purpose: to comfort and distract the children while they are undergoing difficult treatments.

“To stimulate them mentally with a puzzle, I felt like it was tagging on two fronts,” says student Michael K. Deegan, who created a 3D printed puzzle for the kids to work on while stuck in treatment. “It’s such a joy, and it’s such a pleasure to see them be able to apply something I’ve designed into their lives.”

puzzle

Projects like this one are a wonderful way to engage students in 3D printing – and maybe point them towards careers using the technology to help others. It’s one thing to teach 3D printing in the classroom, but to have students use it for real-life applications that directly show them the difference the technology can make in people’s lives is much more impactful – on them, on the people they’e already helped, and those they may help in the future. What are your thoughts on this project? Discuss in the 3D Printed Pediatric Adaptive Devices forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Fox5NY]

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Webinar and Virtual Event Roundup, September 20, 2020

3D Printing News Briefs, September 19, 2020: Relativity Space, Farsoon Technologies, Johnson & Johnson



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing News Briefs, September 12, 2020: DSM, MakerOS, Evolve Additive Solutions, & Print Parts Inc.

3D Printing News Briefs runs the gamut today from materials and software to business. First, DSM is announcing a new food-safe 3D printing material, and MakerOS has a new software...

Thanks to New Round, Xometry Raised $193M Total in Funding Since 2013

Maryland-based Xometry, a custom on-demand manufacturing marketplace which recently launched a video interview series and announced a partnership with ExOne to offer metal binder jetting services, has more exciting news to...

3D Printing News Briefs, September 5, 2020

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, the former CEO of Carbon has joined the faculty of a prestigious university. Moving on, a 3D printing whiz and Tel Aviv professor has...

3D Printing News Briefs, August 30, 2020: Roboze, BCN3D & CREA3D, 3D Systems, ASTM International

We’re covering 3D printing business stories in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, including investments, partnerships, industry executives, and annual reports. Federico Faggin, who invented the microprocessor, is investing in Roboze,...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.