Raising the bar with one hand

February 27, 2018
ATA News Staff
Jerlana Rittwage, who is missing her left hand, has a new prosthetic hand thanks to high school students Jonas Prudden (blue hoodie) and Levi Schmidtke. The hand is controlled by wrist movements.

Jonas Prudden and Levi Schmidtke, Grade 11 students at Cochrane High School, wanted to use the school’s 3-D printer to make something a little more advanced than the standard fare of coffee mugs and desktop trinkets. When they approached communication technology teacher Landon Thompson with their idea of making a functional, moving hand, the pair had no idea that a local girl just happened to be in need of one. After a few months of planning and testing, 11-year-old Jerlana Rittwage had a new hand in her favourite colour: purple.

Thompson says the project has inspired the rest of his communication technology class.

“Once they heard the story, their eyes were opened and they thought, ‘we need to think bigger.’ It’s definitely raised the bar of academia in my classroom.” ❚