UNITED STATES: Don Bosco Prep student creates prosthetic hands for Eagle Scout project
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Preparatory High School (Don Bosco Prep), located in Ramsey, New Jersey, has announced that Aidan Lloyd, a junior at the school, has received his Eagle Scout rank, and his project is being considered for the National Eagle Scout Project of the Year. Lloyd, 17, took his love of engineering and robotics and created his “Helping Hands” project. The project was inspired by Lloyd’s troop mate who doesn’t have a hand.
Lloyd is a member of the Church of the Ascension Boy Scout Troop 291 in New Milford. He first got involved with robotics as an eighth grader at St. Joseph School as part of a summer program created by Don Bosco Prep and run by Father Lou Konopelski. Once attending Don Bosco Prep, Lloyd took robotics classes and was a part of the engineering club. While working on the 3D printer in class, he fostered an interest in modeling and prosthetics.
“I always had an interest in the sciences, but I really enjoyed learning about different forces in physics class. This helped me understand and appreciate the inner workings of the hand and my project as a whole,” said Lloyd.
As part of completing an Eagle Scout project, Lloyd researched and planned each step of the process. He was required to enlist, mentor and oversee volunteers, as well as seek product donations from local businesses. Lloyd also bought his own 3D printer and filament, and used STL files from a website to fabricate and print out the models for each hand, each taking about 10 hours to print.
With Lloyd’s guidance, two teams of eight volunteers assembled 15 hands. Each assembly session took approximately four hours. The hand works based on tension, with little strings that go from the gripper box through the hand and up to the fingers and thumb. The fingers move and the hand can actually close.
Fourteen prosthetic hands were shipped to SUNY Polytechnic University in Utica, New York, for distribution. The final hand will be given, post pandemic, to his troop mate who inspired his project. Lloyd explained, “I am really proud of the hand and really proud of who we are helping. We really did well. It gives you the ability to be there for people without really being there.”
During the stay-at-home order, Lloyd has continued to put his 3D printer to use. He has made more than 600 mask extenders, which is a plastic piece that hooks around the elastic of a face mask and reduces the pressure and discomfort behind the ears. Lloyd’s father, a retired sheriff’s sergeant, delivered them to local pharmacies and police forces, health care workers, and first responders, and a portion has been mailed to an Air Force base in New Mexico. Last week he gave 36 extenders to Don Bosco Prep’s school nurse for distribution at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson and Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.
“First responders are working hard to help those who are sick every day. This is my way of helping them out,” Lloyd added. In the future, Lloyd plans to major in astrophysics and pursue a doctoral degree.
Dedicated to empowering young men, Don Bosco Prep provides rigorous academics at the advanced placement, honors and college prep levels, and encourages participation in extracurricular activities, clubs and athletics. The school’s 850 students are accepted to the finest colleges and universities in the United States and go on to make significant contributions to their families and communities.
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