The Discovery Educator Network is composed of innovative and dedicated educators who are using technology in transformational ways.
Dr. Chris Craft of CrossRoads Intermediate School in Columbia, South Carolina is a member of the DEN. His project Prosthetic Kids Hand Challenge is a shining example of how children can change the world using technology.
What inspired you to do this project?
We created our first prosthetic for Alyssa, a 13 year-old girl right here in South Carolina. We delivered her hand in November of 2014 and instantly my students could see that something as simple as going to school could truly make an impact on a child’s life. We quickly scaled up our project, creating several hands that same school year. This year, we scaled up even more, and estimate that we’ll produce close to 100 hands for children. Early in the 2015-2016 school year, my students quickly realized that they wanted to not only work on hands themselves, but they also wanted to encourage other classes around the world to take part in this noble effort. Born of that desire, we launched www.handchallenge.com, a website that details every step of the hand printing and assembly process. My students created bite-sized videos explaining each step and we posted our sources for materials.
What is your favorite part about this project?
My favorite part of this project is that it’s not about us. I’m convinced that when we focus on creating experiences for students to make someone else’s life better show them true joy. Watching my students’ reactions to the submissions for Hand Challenge have been so much fun, as their faces light up each time someone pledges a hand.
What should the DEN Community know about your project?
This project would not be possible without the DEN. We recently won the Belk Service Learning Challenge which is in conjunction with Discovery Education. Through their support we were able to purchase two more printers and children are receiving hands that otherwise may not have. Kelly Hines has been a tireless supporter of our project and we are deeply grateful for her!