Giving a helping hand in Year 8 Design Technology

The focus for Year 8 Design Technology in Semester 1 was learning all about something we all probably take for granted, our hands. Students learnt about the anatomy of the hand and created a cardboard prototype of a hand to simulate tendons and simple hand movements.

Students then learnt about individuals with a limb difference, and how 3D printed prosthetic hands are providing a real-life benefit to individuals who cannot afford a prosthetic device. Working in small groups, students then manufactured the eNable Phoenix Unlimbited Prosthetic Hand with varying degrees of completion. This type of prosthetic hand is a wrist powered device, for a child aged 6-12 years old. With wrist flexion (bending at the wrist towards the palm side), the fingers would close to grasp an object. The manufacturing process was challenging and required lots of trouble-shooting whilst working with 3D printers, hand tools to shape and remove excess filament and thermoforming plastic components. Most pleasingly, one group was able to finish and complete a fully functioning prosthetic hand which is awaiting approval for donation to children, in the spirit of Tikkun Olam. Well done to Hugo Black, Gabriel Halperin and Asher Levy on this significant achievement.

The final unit of work was heavily modified due to lockdown but examined how sensors, micro-controllers and motors could be used to “robotify” the students original cardboard prototypes. Using button sensors, accelerometer controls and servo motors, students were able to create a bionic finger capable of flexion and extension. Well done to all Year 8 Design Technology students who showed resilience and persistence throughout the semester to create some truly remarkable “hands on” learning.

See below for some videos taken during the learning process:

Heath McGregor
MERIT Coordinator