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Turrentine Middle students learn about prosthetics

Struggling with makeshift prosthetic legs and working with crude and simple resources – it’s an exercise in patience for these Burlington 7th graders.

More specifically it’s an exercise in problem solving for the students at Turrentine Middle who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

And at first glance it’s hard to see that these students aren’t amputees.

It’s only when they turn around.. you can see the real picture.

For two weeks the students researched prosthetics.

“I did not realize how big this industry has grown. Like we were reading up and they have it made so that all you have to do is pretty much think about how you want to make it move and it will move,” said Sam Cryan, a 7th grader.

They also got a visit from a prosthetics maker and a couple of his patients, who made quite the impression.

“There was this one guy and he was a double amputee and he could just walk around like … it was as if those legs that he was wearing had become part of him,” said Jos Boswell, a 7th grader.

That visit got their wheels turning..

“Then there is a lot of analysis. They look at their design and say.. this isn’t working.. how can I fix that?” said Melaine Rickard, a STEM teacher.

Through trial and error the students learned teamwork, problem solving and perseverance.

“You can see the light bulb. You can see when they.. OH! I got it. Lets try this,” said Rickard.

“I just think for us to be doing this.. and to have actually made something that works… is truly a pretty incredible accomplishment,” said Jos Boswell, a 7th grader.

Incredible Indeed.

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