Fourth-graders are creating limbs from 3D printer

While some fourth graders are wondering what their lunch is or when it's time to go home, Stefanie Nguyen's class at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School is creating limbs using a 3-D printer.

“We have now printed two hands to be assembled and donated,” said Nguyen.

The students are making artificial limbs from a 3D printer. The idea came from a little story called The Wild Robot.

“It's a survival story about a robot who loses a limb,” said Nguyen.

With inspiration from the book, along with some math, spatial reasoning and geometry, her class began creating prototypes for hands and other limbs. They are even making customizations.

“We had one group that really enjoyed baking. So they wanted to invent a whisk attachment to the finger,” said Nguyen.

Other designs include a piano on an arm. And one student is creating a leg for a dog or cat who may need an extra.

“I think it's really fun and I also kind of wanted to help people,” said Ian Twitchell, student.

Twitchell is happy to see his visions on paper come to life.

“At first I thought that it wasn't going to be what I wanted it to be. Like I thought that it would mess up, and it wouldn't serve its purpose,” said Twitchell.

The finished hands will go to a non-profit called E-nable, which gives 3D printed hands to those who need them.The kids are learning a lot about science, but there is an even more important lesson here.

“We want the students to learn 3D design and engineering and everything like that but we also want to improve someone else's life,” said Nguyen.

“If you don't help them, who else is going to?” said Twitchell.