The Sequoyah High School FIRST Robotics Team through its e-Nable project is crafting 3D printer-generated prosthetic limbs for adults and children in need. Tim Andrasy of Canton, center, speaks with teacher Brent Hollers, left, and senior Daniel McCrobie about the device they’re making for him.
Sequoyah High School senior Daniel McCrobie has always liked engineering and figuring out how parts work together.
Through his school’s FIRST Robotics team formed last year, Daniel has figured out how he can be a part of life-changing work: making prosthetic limbs for those in need.
The team recently formed an e-Nable chapter, joining the international online collective of “Digital Humanitarian” volunteers dedicated to using shared designs and 3D printers to craft free and low-cost prosthetic limbs for adults and children.
“This project has dramatically affected me,” said Daniel, who also has incorporated his e-Nable work into his Eagle Scout project. “The idea of designing devices to help people regain full function fascinates me and is something I would never have thought of pursuing had I not gone through with this project.”
Putting together his love of engineering with his calling to help others launched another idea into motion: Daniel now plans to study biomechanical engineering in college (he’s applied to several top schools for the field) and pursue a career in research and development for prosthetics.
Teacher Brent Hollers said the project has positively impacted all of his students – not just through the mastery of technical knowledge needed for STEM careers, but also by expanding their social and emotional skills like compassion, empathy and communication – and has changed his life for the better, too.
“One of the most rewarding things you can experience as a teacher is to see your students apply what they have learned in a real-world environment,” Mr. Hollers said. “This is further emphasized by seeing their interactions with others and how much they benefit socially and emotionally. It is truly one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had as a teacher.”
The team’s e-Nable dream became reality thanks to a generous donation by the Jason T. Dickerson Family Foundation, started by a Sequoyah High School graduate and his family. The Foundation, which through its membership in the Rotary Club of Canton learned about the team’s work, gifted the team with a Dremel DigiLab 3D printer to make the computer-designed plastic prosthetics.
“If you want to get an idea of the amazing talent that is being cultured in CCSD for the future, look no further than the Robotics Club at Sequoyah High School,” Mr. Dickerson said. “These students are light years ahead of anything we even thought was possible in high school, and we were proud to donate to them.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said the project is a perfect example of how students can learn life skills and make a difference in the lives of others as part of their educational experience.
“Proud is an understatement of how I feel about the skill, dedication and care shown by these students and Mr. Hollers,” he said, noting he also greatly appreciates the Foundation’s donation. “We want every student to learn their ‘why’ and follow that calling, and it’s so impressive when that calling leads students to serve others.”
Mr. Hollers said the team already has delivered a finished prosthetic to a man in Alabama and is fulfilling requests from new friends in India, Australia, Germany – and Canton.
Tim Andrasy of Canton hasn’t worn a prosthetic arm since he was in high school 22 years ago. It was too bulky and didn’t fit well, so he gave up wearing it and found work-arounds to succeed in his culinary career. After serving many years as an executive chef, he’s now in a second career as a butcher and learned about the e-Nable project from Daniel’s mother.
“I thought it was too good to be true,” Mr. Andrasy said, but he eagerly set up a meeting and saw first-hand that the help and the hope was real.
Daniel said meeting Mr. Andrasy, hearing his story, measuring his arm, and working to help him has been an incredible experience.
“I am thrilled to be able to help a person locally and actually see the prosthetic in action,” Daniel said.
Mr. Andrasy said it’s difficult to put into words how meaningful the work by Daniel and his classmates is to him.
“It will make my life better,” he said, “in so many ways it’s hard to count.”
Want to help? Please contact Mr. Hollers at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to donate. The team also is looking for more people in need of prosthetic limbs, and those requests can be emailed to Mr. Hollers.
The Sequoyah High School FIRST Robotics Team through its e-Nable project is crafting 3D printer-generated prosthetic limbs for adults and children in need. Tim Andrasy of Canton, left, listens as senior Daniel McCrobie describes the process to make a device for him.
The Sequoyah High School FIRST Robotics Team through its e-Nable project is crafting 3D printer-generated prosthetic limbs for adults and children in need. Tim Andrasy of Canton, left, is measured for his device by senior Daniel McCrobie.
The Jason T. Dickerson Family Foundation, started by Sequoyah High School graduate Mr. Dickerson, right, and his family, recently donated a 3D printer to the Sequoyah High School FIRST Robotics Team led by teacher Brent Hollers, left. The printer allows the team to craft prosthetic limbs for the e-Nable project.
Sequoyah High School senior Daniel McCrobie has taken a lead role in the school FIRST Robotics Team’s e-Nable project to make 3D printer-generated prosthetic limbs for people in need. He’s made the initiative his Eagle Scout project and recently held a workshop to teach others about the work.
Sequoyah High School senior Daniel McCrobie teaches a community workshop on creating prosthetic devices using a 3D printer. He’s taken the lead in his school’s FIRST Robotics Team’s e-Nable project to make the prosthetics and has incorporated the work into his Eagle Scout project.