Crisp County Teacher, Students 3D Print A Helping Hand For Student
Crisp County High School anatomy teacher Jessica Young and three of her students leant a helping hand to a child in need this holiday season by 3D printing a prototype prosthetic.
Young learned about a program E-Nable the Future three years ago during a technology seminar at our local Chattahoochee-Flint RESA. A video showed students printing prosthetic hands for kids and adults all over the world. She set a goal that day to get her students involved in this program. After learning that Crisp County High School had a 3D printer, Young was ecstatic about the possibilities. She dove head first into learning how to 3D print and incorporating 3D printing into her classroom.
At the beginning of this semester, she introduced prosthetics to her anatomy class while teaching the skeletal system. She had an E-Nable the future prosthetic kit and three of her students took special interest, Da’Shanti Woodson, Ka’Jarvis Daniel, NiKujha Smith. Upon learning about the program, the students decided to print and assemble a full prosthetic hand and apply for E-Nable the Future Assembly and Fabrication Badges. Once certified they were on a mission to help someone in need.
Meet Lilly Phagan, the eight-year-old daughter of Matthew and Leslie Phagan of Wilcox County. Lilly was born with Poland Syndrome, leaving her without a left hand. Mrs. Young attended high school with Lilly’s mother and reached out see if they would be interested in getting a prosthetic hand printed for Lilly. Mrs. Phagan eagerly agreed! A date was set up for Lilly to come and meet the students and get measured for her hand.
When they day arrived, the students were so excited and nervous. Lilly was all smiles! The students measured and immediately went back to class to begin designing the first print of Lilly’s prosthetic hand.
On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, Lilly and her family came back to the school for Lilly to try on the prototype for her hand. Mrs. Young and her students were anxious. They were scared the hand would not fit., and they were worried something would go wrong.
Again, Lilly RAN from her vehicle to meet them and try on her hand. It was a PERFECT fit! The joy on Lilly’s face was infectious. She immediately began squeezing her hand, picking up water bottles, scratching her head, and shaking her dad’s hand. To watch her life be changed in that instant was such a blessing.
The students worked at finding a few kinks to fix before printing Lilly’s final hand, which she requested to be blue and gold, but Lilly of course got to keep this first prototype. Lilly ran off to show her siblings her hand and was ready to go home and “swing a softball bat.”
The students who built the hand said this was a moment they would never forget. Nikujha Smith, with tears welled up in her eyes, said, “I have never gotten to be a part of something so awesome. This feels so good."
“Amazing experience and opportunity to help Lilly," said Ka’Jarvis Daniel. "Christmas came early for her this year.”
Da’Shanti shared a post on Facebook with the caption, “It meant so much to me that me and my friends put a smile on someone’s face. Thank God for using my friends and I to help others.”
“To see a goal I set three years ago finally come true was surreal," said Young. "Knowing that I had the honor of teaching three students who were so willing to work and problem solve and never give up while learning how to do this was such a special experience. Their hearts are so big!"
Young said that other students are now asking her how they can get involved in this program. "I am so grateful for these students and for the people who have supported this effort," said Young. "I cannot wait to see where we can take this program and how many lives we can change.”