“I love coming out and talking to the kids because there are a lot of bright minds here, and they ask great questions. I want to expose each child to all of the opportunities available to them in this field”, Curtis said. “They may not be great clinicians or enjoy working with the public, but they may find their niche in research and development or as a computer technician in the development of microprocessors for artificial limbs”.
They also had a veteran talk to them about her experiences with artificial limbs. Cindy Crenshaw-Martin lost both of her legs when a bomb hidden in a trash can exploded while she was stationed overseas in 1978.
“I like talking to these kids to encourage them to not only be strong when things get rough but to also plant seeds in their minds to get them involved in prosthesis,” said Martin. “Encourage them to help others like me and solve problems.”
The students designed and built their legs in class in teams of three to four students. They were encouraged to experiment and try things, redesign, and rebuild until they were successful. They had to measure the leg for one of their team and cut it to fit, making sure it was comfortable and, most important, making sure it stayed attached while in use.
“That was my favorite part”, said fifth-grader Devin Melton. “I really liked testing our leg and then improving it. The whole thing was really fun”.
Now these junior engineers will put their creations on display for all those who wish to see.
If you would like to be a witness to their successes, the prosthetic leg races will be held during their class times the week of Feb. through Feb. 14.