Morgan Peterson was born without the lower portion of her left arm. The limb tapers to slim roundness just below the elbow. She was 6 months old when ﬁtted with her ﬁrst prosthetic, courtesy of Shriners Hospitals. Four more have answered her increasing needs for growing room. Morgan, 10, a ﬁfth-grade student at Heron Pond Elementary School, nevertheless is as active as any of her friends. She especially likes bike riding. And she likes building things.
She is a frequent visitor at “builder” workshops held at Milford High School & Applied Technology Center. Morgan’s mother, Meg, wondered aloud at one such workshop whether it was possible for the students to make a device that would modify Morgan’s rigid artiﬁcial limb so she could ride her bike more comfortably. “I had an attachment made of rubber,” Morgan said. “It would fall off when I turned left.”
The team of students, under the tutelage of teacher Frank Xydias, focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. Several seniors are headed for colleges emphasizing those disciplines. The conical prosthetic the students examined allowed no ﬂexibility at its terminus. Morgan described the problem more fully, and the group immediately embraced the idea of designing and building a better attachment, one that would allow lateral movement, ﬂexing and rotation. Continue reading