Area students compete to make best prosthetic
Author: Joe Smith, KGW
Posted: May 12, 2014

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PORTLAND -- On the campus of Portland State University, students from 13 area middle and high schools got to show off what a year of mentoring by MESA (Math, Engineering and Science Achievement) means to the students.

They're also showing how what they're doing could change the world.

The MESA challenge was to design the best functional hand prosthetic that could be used by children in developing countries.

The prosthetic arm has to be able to pick up items, large and small, even pick up a ball and throw it.

For the students, the mentoring offers them a learning opportunity they might not otherwise get.

"A lot of them are from schools that are traditional low income, so what they're doing today is pretty amazing," said Dave Coranado, president of the Portland Chapter of MESA. "They're using their in-school knowledge and putting it in a real-world application."

The prosthetic arms are made from everyday, ordinary materials.

The other purpose of this competition is to call attention to the need for more engineering students and a good STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) based education.

The team from Liberty High School and Meadows Park Middle School were chosen as having the best designs.

Both schools will compete in June during the national competition. That event will be held in Portland.