“I’ve never seen that before.”
“How does that work?”
These were common statements heard at the Mini Maker Faire hosted at Spokane Valley’s Barnes and Noble store on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Upper Columbia Academy Elementary School (UCAES) fifth- through eighth-grade teacher Christopher Duckett and a few of his students were featured "makers" at the fair. They brought their 3-D printer and happily explained to visitors how to make, modify and download a 3-D file to the printer, as well as their goal of printing and providing prosthetic hands to children without fingers.
Curious visitors learned how to assemble the 3-D printed parts of a Raptor Reloaded prosthetic hand, one of many designs provided by e-Nable, an international volunteer network of makers and philanthropists.
One interested visitor, a librarian at a Catholic school in Tri-Cities, Wash., was particularly fascinated with UCAES’s Helping Hands Project since she is in the process of setting up a maker-space at her school that will include a 3-D printer. She was very excited to see how a 3-D printer could be used to help others and plans on sharing this idea with her school. “I know that I was supposed to be here to meet you today. God bless you and your school’s project!” she said as she thanked Duckett and his students.
UCAES students and staff were grateful for the opportunity to share how they are using technology to help others and hope to continue to inspire local makers to lend a helping hand.