Giving a Helping Hand

Ashlynn+Matthews+%2811%29%2C+poses+with+the+prosthetic+hand+she+3D+printed+for+amputees+in+third+world+countries.
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Giving a Helping Hand

Ashlynn Matthews (11), poses with the prosthetic hand she 3D printed for amputees in third world countries.

Ashlynn Matthews (11), poses with the prosthetic hand she 3D printed for amputees in third world countries.

Makayla Walders

Ashlynn Matthews (11), poses with the prosthetic hand she 3D printed for amputees in third world countries.

Makayla Walders

Makayla Walders

Ashlynn Matthews (11), poses with the prosthetic hand she 3D printed for amputees in third world countries.

Isabella Mahar, Staff Writer

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Ashlyn Matthews spends her break time and her time in sixth period Engineering class creating prosthetic hands and fingers.

Her passion of creating these and getting certified to give them to children and adults started with an article her grandfather sent her. “My grandfather sent me an article about landmines in Yemen cause they have a war going on there, and just how lots of children are suffering,” Matthews said. 

What makes her a good student isn’t that she’s smart, because she is smart. I think it’s that she is curious and she’s creative and she is a good person, and wants to do something like this to help people”

— Collin MacDonald

“What makes her a good student isn’t that she’s smart because she is smart but I think it’s that she is curious and she’s creative and she is a good person, and wants to do something like this to help people,” Collin MacDonald, the Engineering teacher, said.

To make the hand and finger prosthetics, she creates the design in her computer through the program of Solidworks and sends the design to the class’ 3D printer. After the parts are printed, she puts the pieces together creating a finished product. In addition, she has to buy a few products needed on her own such as fishing wiring.

“It kind of works like in eighth grade, when you cut out the hands out of cardboard with the strings and stuff… when you pull the string and the whole thing moves, it’s kind of the same idea, but a bit more high tech,” Matthews said.

So far, she has created a few fingers, and is working to create a hand. Once she finishes the hand, it will be sent to Enabling the Future where they give it to an adult or child who needs it. The prosthetics then end up in countries all around the world, such as Yemen, the country that first started her passion for this.

Currently, she is working on getting certified to send these to those who need it most. After that, she plans to continue her work and growing the program at SJHHS, by getting more students involved through the Engineering class.

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