School may be out, but the work continues for many charter schools throughout New York and Connecticut! These schools are putting in Overtime to beat the summer slide, offering extended school years and programs aimed at keeping students engaged as the temperatures rise. Here’s how Vertus High School in Rochester is changing lives this summer thanks to 3D technology!
Vertus scholars hard at work in the Maker Space!
The young men of Vertus High School in Rochester have enjoyed some much-deserved time in the media spotlight this summer. That’s because 16 Vertus scholars participated in the school’s e-NABLE program, in which students use 3D software and printers to design, develop and print mechanical hands which are then donated to people in need.
"On the one hand, this is a high-tech cutting-edge job category that hardly anyone is familiar with, but we know it's going to be a big deal," Dr. Jon Schull of Rochester e-NABLE Labs told RochesterFirst.com. "But, it's also a huge motivator for these young men because they get to see what these devices can do to change lives."
Now in its third year at the school, the e-NABLE program at Vertus is part of a global network with thousands of volunteers dedicated to giving the world "a helping hand." For their part, Vertus students assembled the prosthetic hands to donate to children and adults in Honduras.
The 16 Vertus scholars enrolled in the e-NABLE program are paid in exchange for 15 hours of work, which takes place under the direction of Dr. Schull and Skip Meetze. The scholars also receive guidance from college students from the U.S. and abroad who help the team explore ways to create stronger limbs with fewer parts and improved operation.
Earlier this month, Vertus invited local media to tour their Maker Space lab to learn more about the program and to watch as students assembled the prosthetic hands. Reporters learned that Vertus students spent the earlier part of the year on Skype with the individuals who would go on to receive the prosthetic hands. Being able to make that type of global impact seemed to resonate with each of the young men involved with the program.
"I feel good, by just knowing you are making a difference in somebody's life, it makes you feel different like you're doing something positive for this world," Vertus scholar Nelson Joaquin told Rochester NBC affiliate WHEC.
What an amazing and impactful way to spend the summer!
To get more of our Overtime series, be sure to check us out on Instagram at @necharters!
WATCH: For more information on the e-NABLE program, check out this video from Vertus High School!