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Nov 02, 2018 | Anne Marie Becka

St. Stephen’s Senior Earns Maker Badge for Prosthetic Limb

Senior Jenna Rogge first went to St. Stephen’s Episcopal School’s Project Idea and Realization Lab (PIRL) with an interest in prostheses and a desire to build a prosthetic hand. She was assisted by Educational Technology Coordinator Nicole Wortham, who spent last spring and summer creating the innovative community Makerspace and defining its ethos.    

“The PIRL is a space for all members of the St. Stephen’s community to engage in design, innovation and creative services while also recognizing the individual, local and global hope and change that compassionate making can bring to society,” Wortham explained. “The PIRL is equipped with butcher block tables, Oodle storage and stability stools, as well as state-of-the-art equipment like the Stereolithography 3-D printer that uses UV light to cure a liquid resin.”

With these resources at her disposal, Rogge spent close to 90 hours designing, scaling, printing and assembling all the parts for a functional prosthetic hand that she named “The Raptor.” Once completed, she identified areas for improvement and immediately set about working on a new design. 

All her hard work and dedication paid off ― and promises to have far-reaching effects. In early November, Wortham announced to the school community that Rogge had earned her first “badge” for production and assembly of her second prosthetic limb, which she nicknamed the “Cyborg Beast.”

“Earning a production badge means that Jenna is now able to search through case files and identify a child in need of a prosthetic limb, 3-D print and assemble the hand, and then send it off to its new owner!” Wortham explained. “She’s now approved to make prosthetic limbs for children in need across the world!

“Not ready to rest on her laurels, Jenna already is working on assembly changes to her original ‘Raptor’ design and hopes to send that design off for a badge as well,” Wortham added. “She also is working on a prosthetic finger and looking for ways to design a full-arm replacement limb made out of flexible filament.”

The St. Stephen’s community is incrediblyproud of Rogge’s hard work, dedication and innovative spirit! Her work with Wortham in the PIRL personifies the Spartan spirit and inspires us all.