CNY Youth to Design and Fabricate Prosthetic Hands for Youths and Seniors at STEAM Summer Day Camp

CNY STEM Hub, PEB, and AT&T partner to offer CNY teens a free “gripping” STEAM Experience

Central New York students entering grades 7 through 12 in the fall are invited to apply to participate in AT&T Hand in Hand, a free summer science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) enrichment program at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) July 27-30 and August 3-6, in which they will work in teams to design and fabricate prosthetic hands using 3D printers and other tech tools. The fully operational prosthetic hands will be donated to Central New Youth youths and seniors missing a hand at birth or as the result of illness or trauma. The program will also provide firsthand experience of how technology can be used for social good.

In this STEAM-based experience being offered by AT&T, CNY STEM Hub, and Partners For Education & Business Inc. (PEB), students will employ basic anatomy knowledge, open-source technology, and 3D printing in team and leadership-building exercises that will introduce them to elements of potential careers in medical technology, engineering, coding, and advanced fabrication.  Other community partners include Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS) and Syracuse Prosthetics and Orthotics.

AT&T Hand in Hand is scheduled from 9 am to 4pm Monday, July 27 through Thursday, July 30 and Monday, August 3 through Thursday, August 6 at the Museum of Science and Technology, 500 S. Franklin St. Syracuse, NY 13202, Syracuse. The project is limited to 45 student team members who will enter grades 7 through 12 this fall. The prosthetics will be designed, prototyped, and tested during the program before the final prosthetics are produced by CADimensions and presented to recipients in early fall.

To ensure inclusion and diversity, the organizers are committed to having at least 50% of the participants in the program consist of under-represented students and the program is free to eliminate economic barriers; transportation and lunch are available upon request.

To register, local students and their parents must visit and click on the link AT&T Hand in Hand Project under “Events” on the homepage.

Program registration is open to middle school and high school students from all districts across the greater Syracuse region. All interested students must submit a short essay on why they want to take part in the program and their interest in the program and STEM.  The deadline to apply for the program is July 8, 2020.

The summer education program will strictly follow all guidelines set by the county, state, and CDC, such as reduced group sizes, increased sanitization practices, all students and staff will have temperatures taken upon arrival, and maximized social distancing practices, just to name a few. For a list of all safety measures that will be adhered to during the program, please visit the registration page.

Kevin Hanna, director of External Affairs at AT&T says, “AT&T is proud to collaborate with CNY STEM Hub, PEB, and CADimensions to develop and support this incredible opportunity for local students to see firsthand how technology can be used to create life-changing solutions for those who live with disabilities and ailments. As the world’s economy transforms at a robust pace — requiring a workforce with a focus on technological education and literacy — STEM and STEAM programs like this one, that provides immersive learning environments, are vital to ensure that the students of today are able to compete in the global economy of tomorrow.”

Students who take part in this unique experience will use online open-source resources provided by e-NABLE, an online global community made up of individuals from all over the world who are utilizing 3D printers to create free hand and arm prosthetics for individuals in need of upper limb assistive devices. The community collaborates on ways to help improve the open-source 3D printable designs for hands and arms for those who were born missing fingers or who have lost them due to war, disease, or natural disaster. The e-NABLE Community is made up of teachers, students, engineers, scientists, medical professionals, tinkerers, designers, parents, children, scout troops, artists, philanthropists, dreamers, coders, makers, and everyday people who just want to make a difference and help to “Give the World a Helping Hand.”

AT&T’s partnership with CNY STEM Hub and PEB in this project is part of the company’s legacy of supporting educational programs focused on STEM disciplines in New York through AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature $500 million philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism and mentoring. Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on school success and workforce readiness by creating new learning environments and educational delivery systems to help students succeed and prepare them to take on 21st century careers.

“We thank AT&T for their continued commitment to STEM education in providing the resources and the collaborative efforts of Partners for Education & Business in spearheading this summer experience for students in Central New York high schools who are interested in preparing for future Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers,” said Dr. Donna DeSiato, CNY STEM Hub chairperson.

“PEB is honored to be working with AT&T and the CNY STEM Hub to use our networks to bring together students from urban, suburban, and rural schools who are interested in learning more about STEM education and careers,” said Joe Vargo, executive director, PEB.  “Our camp will not only offer them STEM experiences but will provide opportunities to interact with professionals from STEM and Healthcare companies to help create career sparks in STEM for the participants.”

Programs like AT&T Hand and Hand are important because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Labor, much of the growth in the domestic and global economy will come from STEM-related jobs, a highly lucrative and competitive field. It is estimated that this year there will be 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs in the U.S., underscoring the importance of providing the youth the tools and skills necessary to compete in this innovation economy.

To learn more, contact Joe Vargo at [email protected].