These incredible middle schoolers are making devices to help students with disabilities

Tech-savvy Stevenson students make devices to help physically challenged classmates

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Using 3D printers, Stevenson Middle School STEM students fashioned prosthetic fingers for a classmate who was born with no fingers on his left hand.

Eighth-grader Esther Kim said it took several attempts to get a finished product.

"We changed a lot so it fit right in his hand," she said.

"We fitted the bottom little nubs onto his fingers so it would be most comfortable for him," Lauryn Trader said.

Another project ― a sensory device tucked into a fanny pack ― took first place at the Honolulu State Science Fair.

It was made for a seventh-grade student who's visually impaired.

"They emit a radio ultrasonic wave. It hits an object. Once it hits the object it comes back, tripping the sensor," eighth-grader Erin Nakamura said.

The machine sounds a beep when the wearer nears an object. The audio cue alerts them to stop or turn.

STEM teacher Trish Morgan knew that given the right tools her students could accomplish great things.

“My aim with my kids is giving back because we were fortunate to get a $100,000 grant,” she said. “We got a whole lot of equipment. Now we’re using it to try to improve other people’s lives.”

The grant money came from Farmer's Insurance.

“These students at Stevenson Middle School not only have an amazing learning opportunity in STEM and these projects that they’re working on, but the impact that they’re having on their community is mind-boggling,” Farmers’ Melanie Joseph said.

The teenager with the prosthetic fingers is getting used to his new device. And on Thursday, the sensor system was presented to the student who will use it.

"We can really impact the world, not only our Stevenson community, but outside," Nakamura said.

The innovative ideas make you wonder what Stevenson’s STEM kids will come up with next school year.

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