Southlake Senior Lends A Helping Hand
Apr 25, 2018 03:42PM ● Published by Ashley Madonna
The senior collaborated with Enabling the Future, a global network of passionate volunteers using 3D printers to give the world “a helping hand.” Alisha chose this organization because of her own fascination with the engineering behind 3-dimensional projects.
“At different times I was into paper construction, origami, clay sculptures, etc. When I chose my Girl Scout Gold Award, I was looking for a community service project that allowed me to combine my interest in building and engineering things with a project that could actually make a difference in people’s everyday lives,” Alisha says.
So on April 21, she gathered up volunteers in the Carroll Senior High School Student Activity Center and created prosthetic hands for national distribution. These hands would be given to families who could not afford to replace their child’s prosthetics as they go about their daily lives.
“Traditional prosthetics cost thousands of dollars and, for children who are growing quickly, it can be nearly impossible for their families to pay for new prosthetics every time they outgrow one,” Alisha says. “This [organization] makes it possible to create a prosthetic hand for under $50 so that kids can have properly fitting prosthetics throughout their entire childhood and perform daily activities with less struggle.”
While the project was a success, Alisha is far from done with her 3D printing pastime. She will continue pursuing this interest by majoring in biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Now, I am fascinated by the endless possibilities of what you can create with a 3D printer,” Alisha says. “The objects to print are only limited by imagination and the size of the printer.
And she encourages other local students to learn more about these intricate machines that can make a whole world of inspiring creations.
“The UT Cockrell School of Engineering has a Makers Space with several 3D printers available for students to use, so everyone I know is getting a 3D-printed Christmas present this year,” Alisha says.