LOWELL – In recognition of National Engineering Week, Kids in Tech students built their own robotic hands, created from everyday materials, as part of a lesson on future career opportunities in engineering and prosthesis.
For this lesson, students used simple materials to mimic the hand structure:
- Straws represent bones, the rigid structure for the hand.
- Strings represent the tendons, which pull on the joints to make different bone segments bend.
The robotic hands were built as students learned about prosthesis, or the science of developing artificial limbs and organs. Students learned how scientists, engineers, and doctors work together to develop artificial body parts as replacements for people who lose organs or limbs due to accidents or disease.
National Engineering Week, or EWeek (February 17–23, 2019), was founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers: “Dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life, EWeek promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy, and motivates youth, to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce.” (Source)
“Any time that we can take everyday materials and build something, we’re changing the perspective of our students and showing them the possibility in engineering,” said Olu Ibrahim, founder of Kids in Tech. “The hope is that these students learn a little bit about a new and unfamiliar field to see the way that engineering and technology affect lives in a real and direct way. Maybe this sparks an interest that leads to a career in helping people through technology, and that’s the real potential impact for the Kids in Tech program.”
Kids in Tech seeks to inspire and create the next generation of technology-savvy leaders through after-school computer science programs for kids and advancing computer literacy for all. Kids in Tech excites, educates, and empowers children to use technology, promoting a positive environment, and fostering lifelong interest through our after-school programming in Lowell and the Greater Merrimack Valley. Through this programming, students develop the necessary tech skills and aptitudes to participate in the 21st Century innovation economy.