Like most high-school students, Tennessee-based Sergio Peralta started his high-school year nervous about fitting in. The 15-year-old boy was a new student at Hendersonville High School, located outside Nashville. Peralta was particularly concerned about his peers’ reactions regarding his right hand, which never fully formed since birth. But to his surprise, his new schoolmates supported him in a way he never could have imagined! Changing his life forever, the students of Hendersonville High School created a robotic hand for him.
The Life-Changing Proposal
While joining his new high school, a nervous Peralta felt like hiding his deformed right hand in his sleeve so that nobody would ever find out about it. But after a few days, Jeff Wilkins, the engineering teacher of the school, informed him that his classmates might be able to help him. They offered to build him a prosthetic hand, which Peralta never expected “in a million years.” Three engineering students teamed up and started planning, using their access to online models of prostheses. Then, they used a 3D printer to make a structure. After a month, their project was fruitful, and Peralta got his new robotic hand.
Leslie Jaramillo, one of those three engineering students from Henderson High, told local media that this project was special for them because it captured the spirit of everything they were taught in class. In engineering class, the students are inspired to be creators by solving issues and coming up with new ideas. The high school’s principal Bob Cotter told the media that the teachers in his institution encourage the students to turn their concepts into reality. According to him, Peralta’s new robotic hand was a testament to this practice, envisioned by engineering teacher Jeff Wilkins and his bright and empathetic students. And thanks to them, Peralta was able to catch a baseball with his right hand, for the first time in his life!