On Saturday, October 22nd nineteen young adults from the three local high schools, Peninsula, Palos Verdes and Mary Star, met at the Palos Verdes on the Net (PVNet) Education & Technology Center in the Promenade Mall, Rolling Hills Estates and assembled ten prosthetic hands as a one day Kiwanis project. The students were all members of one of the Kiwanis on campus service clubs, the Key Club or the KIWINS.
The project was developed in an association with the Kiwanis and PVNet, a 22 year old established emerging technology center. PVNet fabricated the parts and provided the facilities for the project.
The prosthetic hands will be donated to Enable Community Foundation who will than distribute the hands to needy children. The Enable Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation created to deploy innovations for people with limb differences.
Each hand required twelve different part types to be fabricated using the 3-D printing technology manufacturing process. To make up one hand a total of thirty one parts were required. This meant that PVNet had to 3D print a total of 310 parts to make up the ten prosthetic hands. PVNet began printing prosthetic hands in 2015 as science project for one of its interns, Eric Chen.
Prior to assembling the parts, Kiwanis members, Herb Stark and Marty Dodell inspected the parts and removed any remaining flashing resulting from the manufacturing process. This was done to insure that each part would fit properly during assembly. The parts for each hand were than kitted and packed into individual kits ready for assembly by students. On the day of the project, ten work spaces, including tools, were setup at PVNet.
Good partnerships such as this create opportunities for youth to gain confidence and experience by contributing positively to society. It also demonstrates not only the need for youth STEM education, but also delivers the opportunity to combine education with community service where the outcome measurably improves the lives of those in need.