Prosthetic Hands for Children

Helping Young People Here and Around the World – Posted 6/2/17

The Spring Semester has come to an end, but Vivian Rosenberg, of Lake Hiawatha, and Brian Seligson, of Parsippany, students at County College of Morris (CCM), have remained on campus to finish creating prosthetic hands for children around the world.

The hands are created on the 3D printers in the college’s engineering labs and carefully assembled by the students using heavy-duty fishing line and Velcro. The hands are being made for three different groups that help children who have lost or are missing part of their limbs.

“I joined an online community of prosthetic 3D print groups and they put me in contact with an organization called Limbs with Love,” explains Eric Pedersen, engineering lab assistant. That organization provides children in the United States and around the world with prosthetic limbs free of cost.

Next Pedersen heard about a church in Baltimore that provides prosthetic hands to children in India through one of its mission programs. Then engineering Professor Tom Roskop told him he was making a trip to Brazil and the nonprofit group Enabling the Future, which also provides prosthetic hands to children around the world, was interested in obtaining two to three hands for children there.

Prior to 3D printing, prosthetic limbs could be quite costly but now they can be printed and assembled for about $20 to $30 in materials, according to Pedersen.

“It’s work that is really beneficial and we’re getting to build a network and obtain real-life experience,” says Rosenberg.

“I thought it was cool, the first time I saw them,” adds Seligson.

The students have taken on the work as members of the college’s Women in STEM club. Before the summer gets into full swing, Pedersen and the students expect to complete and ship about a dozen hands. Pedersen’s hope is that the work will continue come the Fall Semester as an ongoing project of Women in STEM.

Photo: Vivian Rosenberg and Brian Seligson, students at County College of Morris, pose with two of the prosthetics hands they are building to donate to children around the world.

Credit: John Hester