prosthetic hand

A 26-year-old woman named Jenny from the Philippines shows off the prosthetic hand assembled by students from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School in Atlantic City in March.

ATLANTIC CITY — Two months ago, students at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School diligently assembled a 3-D printed hand for a stranger halfway across the world.

Last month, their worlds became a little closer when the Filipino woman sent a video and email to the students thanking them and letting them know she received the hand.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to the sweetest kids who helped you assemble the hand :) Thank you so much! Kind regards, Jenny,” the email read.

“Pretty cool, extremely honored. Can’t wait to show the kids tomorrow. The world just got a little smaller,” STEM teacher Jason Holmstrom wrote in an email, sharing the correspondence with his administrators.

Holmstrom, a STEM teacher at the MLK School, connected with the 26-year-old woman in the Philippines, who was born without a right hand, through e-NABLE, an international online community of volunteers working to help those missing appendages gain access to prostheses.

Over several weeks, the students printed practice 3-D hands to assemble before assembling the real one, which was printed by another volunteer from Washington state.

Holmstrom said he emailed Jenny back to express the class’ gratitude and appreciation.

“I also offered to help with any adjustments that she felt the hand needed,” he said.

He also is looking to create a video message back to Jenny with photos from the assembly process.

“I would love for Jenny to see how she has enriched our lives as much if not more than we have hers. Ultimately, we are trying to weave the spirit of this project into our future endeavors in our school’s maker space,” Holmstrom said.

Contact: 609-272-7251 Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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