PERRY, OH (WOIO) - It's work you would expect to see done in a medical lab: a 3D printer using hot plastic to create pieces of a prosthetic hand.
"This is the Raptor Hand. It's unique because it doesn't require any kind of motors," explains Jake Brewster a junior at
That's right. This isn't a corporation. It's a high school and their STEM program, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Brewster and Jimmy Schneider are getting real-world experience, while still in high school.
"It's given me a chance to look at other kinds of engineering. I was originally going -- I was thinking about civil and also mechanical," says Schneider, a senior at Perry High.
"This helps me understand how things work in the biomedical field," says Brewster.
The hands they're making are part of a program called e-NABLE. The nonprofit organization gives base design plans of the hand to anyone who can create the pieces with a 3D printer. In turn, the hands made are sent back to e-NABLE and they distribute them to children all over the world.
The device was made for someone who was either born without or has lost their fingers. The way it works is they stick their palm into the base of the device and simply flex it. That flexing moves wires and string that then move the fingers into a grip motion.
STEM teacher Sarah Rivera says these young men are getting more than a classroom education.
"They are employing the engineering skills to create these, to design these, to modify them, and it's eventually going to a global network of people that need hands," says Rivera.
Each hand costs about $5 in material to make and takes about a day, which is thousands of dollars less than a normal prosthetic.