Girl Scouts of Central Texas takes the task of building prosthetics into their own hands

Jennifer Liu

The Girl Scouts of Central Texas is taking the task of building prosthetics into their own hands.

In collaboration with Wayside Sci-Tech Preparatory School, a group of girl scouts is building prosthetics for kids who need them.

They print 3D parts for the prosthetics with the help of EOS North America, an additive manufacturing company. Upon completion, e-NABLE, a global non-profit organization, distributes the girls’ creations to children all around the world who need it.

This definitely isn’t a typical elementary school science project. According to e-NABLE’s website, the organization has currently donated about 1,800 documented prosthetic hands, mostly to children.

“It’s not just something to bring home, it’s actually making a difference,” said Hannah Bruno, member of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas’ communications team. “We encourage these girls to utilize their skills to be a catalyst for change.”

They’re achieving this by assembling prosthetic hands to donate to e-NABLE. e-NABLE is an organization dependent solely on a global network of volunteers who use 3D printers to make the parts, then assemble them using templates that are available online.

In addition to being armed with these resources, they also had the help of Wayside Sci-Tech Preparatory School students.

“What I loved was that we had the girls there, and we had students from Wayside who completely ran the show,” Bruno said. “If the girls didn’t know what they were doing, these 9th and 10th graders showed them how and they picked it up immediately. It’s kids helping kids.”

This is just a small part of the bigger movement that Girl Scouts is undertaking to encourage girls to enter STEM fields.

“What I think is so cool, is that this is only one of several STEM related events throughout the year that allows girls to explore STEM in a real-life way,” said Bruno.

She also mentioned that the Girl Scouts just came out with 23 new badges that deal with STEM-related activities. Instead of dissecting frogs or building baking soda volcanoes, these girls are exposed to new things at these events that they might not have gotten to try in school.

“They have a safe space where they can try and fail, and try and succeed,” Bruno said.

These girls are being encouraged to think in a big way, and they’re doing just that by participating in a global effort to help the handicapped.

“Our (kindergarten and first-grade Girl Scouts) are able to go out and see what they’re able to achieve,” Bruno said. “Girl Scouts is allowing these girls to experience these things, so when they do get to college, they can think ‘I can totally do that, because I was building prosthetic hands for kids in India when I was 10 years old.’”

Emma V., a fifth-grade Girl Scout and aspiring farm veterinarian, agrees.

“If you really like it, you should follow your dreams, and do what your heart desires — even if that’s STEM,” Emma said.