Using materials including syringes, tubing, paperclips, straws, popsicle sticks, and rubber bands, 35 students from area schools built prosthetic hands capable of lifting pieces of paper as part of the STEM Workshop hosted by Char-Em ISD in cooperation with Ferris State University.
During the Nov. 14 workshop, 8th-10th grade students were introduced to engineering, technology, and healthcare careers as part of the hands-on workshop.
During their half-day session, the students used the materials to create “prosthetic hand” devices capable of picking up crumpled pieces of paper.
Some students drew blueprints of their mechanical devices while others jumped right in to cut up pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks and string to glue together.
The young girls and boys high-fived each other, laughed, and sometimes groaned as they tested their devices.
Deborah Dawson, director of the Ferris State University College of Engineering, and her colleagues watched in awe and helped prod on the young engineers as they experimented with various ways to create the devices.
Char-Em ISD offered the workshop for 8-10 grade students in Alanson, Boyne City, Boyne Falls, Concord Boyne and Concord Petoskey.
A similar workshop will be offered to other district students in early 2017.