By Emily Drooby
A delicate dance takes place as the hot end of a 3D printer slowly creates a finger at Monsignor McClancy Memorial high school in Elmhurst, Queens.
It’s an art class with a science component. However, for students, it’s so much more than just a class or a grade.
“It’s very exciting,” said Junior Nathan Atherley. “It kind of moves you a little bit to know that you’re still able to help another person.”
These students are lending a helping hand — literally by designing, creating and 3D printing functional limbs.
“It was important for us to not only show students that there are ways to use your skills in art in other ways but that they could be used potentially for service opportunities as well,” said art teacher Michael Savoca.
Learning while serving others is a key value of this Catholic school which is run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
It’s a “STEAM” program: science; technology; engineering; art and math, and it is coordinator Ann Smith’s dream. She finally got it up and running, but the pandemic hit right after and forced it into a hiatus.
“And the kids in this class, they remember when we started this project and they also remember when we had to stop,” Ann said. “So, I think it’s going to mean even more to them that they’re going to be the ones to take that torch and go with it.”
With the program finally back up and running, the students are working on their second prototype.
Soon, they’ll be finding an actual recipient for the prosthetic limb.
“I think it’s definitely a cool feeling of knowing that something we are working on in school hours can potentially help someone outside of our school,” senior Anna Dobrzanska explained.
A unique art class that’s teaching students and serving a greater purpose.