Youth build prosthetic hands in engineering workshop

Youth build prosthetic hands in engineering workshop

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4-H alumni and aerospace engineer Mandy Dodd facilitated a Discover Engineering workshop July 21 at the University of Illinois Macoupin County Extension office in Carlinville.

The program emphasized engineering principles, careers and giving back to others. Dodd guided youth through Odyssey Teams’ teambuilding program, Helping Hands, through which they were able to construct prosthetic hands to give to amputees. Electrical engineer Mike Maccanelli and volunteers Paul and Lana Pershing assisted with the program.

Dodd first led the group through several science, technology, engineering and math activities based on different careers in engineering. Some of the favorites were aerospace engineering, electrical engineering and structural engineering. After learning basic principles, youth put their knowledge to work in building the prosthetic hands. After completion, youth inserted the mechanical hand into a protective carrying case that the group decorated, along with a photograph of the group that constructed the prosthetic.

Caleb Cloninger and Josiah Schuette work together to test the mechanical hand they helped construct during a 4-H Discover Engineering workshop on July 21.