A helping hand

Improving the quality of life for people far too young to come to campus is the focus of one of Carolina’s newest student organizations. The Helping Hand Project, launched in 2015, features a group of about 40 students who use 3-D printing to make prosthetic devices for children and adolescents born without fingers. The group can make a prosthetic hand for about $20 — far less than the thousands of dollars the devices can otherwise cost — making it possible for parents to update the prosthetic as children grow up.

“When you’re printing the hands out and assembling them, it’s kind of just something that you’re doing,” said Kierra Falbo, a recently-graduated senior with a degree in biomedical engineering from UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and president of the Helping Hand Project. “But then when you actually deliver them and see that child use it and the happiness on their face, it’s unreal.”

By Rob Holliday, UNC Office of Communications and Public Affairs