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Sixth-Grade Girls Create Prosthetic Hands for Kids in Need

From left: McKenzie Smith, Carson Ellis and Corbyn Player/Discovery Education

The Short of It

Three Columbia, S.C., sixth-grade girls used their brilliant young minds to come up with a creative and charitable project: creating prosthetic hands for kids who need them by using a 3D printer.

The Lowdown

For the Belk Service Learning Challenge, CrossRoads Middle School students Carson Ellis, Corbyn Player and McKenzie Smith were asked to come up with a project that would help others. After brainstorming with their teacher, the team decided to make a prosthetic hand using a 3D printer for a girl named Alyssa, whom they found through a website called "Enabling the Future."

Belk, Discovery Education and the International Society for Technology in Education partnered to create the annual challenge, and they surprised the girls with their prize. The girls' project won them $8,000, which includes scholarship money and teacher grants, plus two new 3D printers for the school. But winning the challenge wasn't the end of the project for this generous team. Last Friday, the girls held a Hand-a-Thon, where they gathered fellow students together to assemble about 20 to 25 prosthetic hands in about four or five hours. The hands will go to more kids who need them.

The Upshot

Other students at the school seemed thoroughly excited to put together the hands and for them to work! It's so heartwarming to hear news like this and to know the next generation is doing thoughtful and generous things.

"We hope to impact many kids by giving them a helping hand," says Carson Ellis, in a video promoting the Hand-a-Thon.

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