“Dawson Riverman’s parents tried to help him make the best of it. Born without fingers on his left hand Dawson struggled to perform even the simplest tasks… The Rivermans could not afford a high-tech prosthetic hand for their son… Then help arrived in the guise of a stranger with a three-dimensional printer.” J. Mroz,New York Times
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: 3-D Printing Prosthetic Hands …Anything but Ordinary, By Jacqueline Mroz, NYT
“He made a prosthetic hand for Dawson, in cobalt blue and black, and it did not cost his family a thing. Now the 13-year-old can ride a bike and hold a baseball bat. He hopes to play goalkeeper on his soccer team… The proliferation of 3-D printers has had an unexpected benefit: The devices, it turns out, are perfect for creating cheap prosthetics. Surprising numbers of children need them: One in 1,000 infants is born with missing fingers, and others lose fingers and hands to injury…E-nable, an online volunteer organization, aims to change that.
Founded in 2013 by Jon Schull, the group matches children like Dawson in need of prosthetic hands and fingers with volunteers able to make them on 3-D printers. Designs may be downloaded into the machines at no charge, and members who create new models share their software plans freely with others.
They are not designed to look like replacement parts. One popular model, the Cyborg Beast, looks like a limb from a Transformer.
The Raptor Hand and Talon Hand 2.X do not suggest disability; they hint at comic-book superpowers. And they are not made to be hidden — indeed, they can be fabricated in a variety of eye-catching fluorescent colors, or even made to glow in the dark…
These days, some leading experts in 3-D design are now collaborating with E-nable on improved prostheses for children. The hands are lightweight, less than a pound, but the fingers move together, not separately.
Health care providers are beginning to take note. In September, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland and E-nable hosted their first 3-D printing conference involving the medical community, volunteers, recipients and manufacturers. The hospital has purchased a 3-D printer and has begun printing free prosthetic devices for children.”
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) access to news article, and video clip.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about the topic. Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board.
II. While Reading Tasks
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word organizer from Enchanted Learning to assist them with new vocabulary.
- He made a prosthetic hand for Dawson.
- The proliferation of 3-D printers has had an unexpected benefit.
- Each year, about 450 children receive amputations.
- State-of-the-art prosthetic replacements are complicated medical devices.
- Best of all, boys and girls usually love their D.I.Y. prosthetics.
- They are not designed to look like replacement parts.
- The Raptor Hand and Talon Hand 2.X do not suggest disability.
- They hint at comic-book superpowers.
- They can be fabricated in a variety of fluorescent colors.
- Leading experts in 3-D design are now collaborating with E-nable.
Reading Comprehension: True /False/NA-Statements
Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- Dawson Riverman was born without a left hand.
- The Rivermans purchased a high-tech prosthetic hand for their son.
- Each year, about 450 children receive amputations as a result of lawn mower accidents.
- The 3-D printers can also create prosthetic legs
- E-nable is an online volunteer organization founded in 2013 by John Scull.
- Dr. Schull is a research scientist at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
- Prosthetic hands are designed to look like replacement parts.
- Prosthetic hands can be fabricated in a variety of fluorescent colors, or even made to glow in the dark
- Each hand takes about 20 hours to print and another two or three hours to assemble.
- The hands work for every child.
Grammar Focus: Preposition Exercise
Prepositions: in, for, of, with, by, on, at, to, as, into, around, over, from,
Directions: The following sentences are from the news article. For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices presented. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.
State-of-the-art prosthetic replacements are complicated medical devices, powered___ batteries and they can cost thousands___dollars.The materials ___a 3-D-printed prosthetic hand can cost ___little___ $20 to $50, and some experts say they work just___well, if not better, than much costlier devices. Best ___all, boys and girls usually love their D.I.Y. prosthetics. The fingers are closed___ flexing the wrist which pulls ___cable tendons.
II. Post Reading Tasks
Directions: Have students use this advanced organizer from Enchanted Learning to assist them with discussing or writing about the main points from the article.