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ISA Wins Appel Di Oro
Posted 05/11/2015 22:00

ISA Wins "Appel Di Oro"

November 5, 2015

By: Valentina Alvarez, Rachel Maduro, Quinten Martis, and Randall Murray


For the past two months, the ISA Makerspace class has been working on a prosthetic hand for an Aruban elementary student, Zizi Nais. This project initiated when Mr. Pieter Verduijn came across a request on facebook from a teacher who was looking for a 3D printer in Aruba. The reason behind the teacher Andrea van Hooff asking for the printer, was because she wanted to make the prosthetic for her student Zizi. Since our school owns a 3D printer, it made sense for Mr. Pieter to help with this project; better yet to lead his Makerspace class to take over this endeavour.

The students accepted the challenge, and entered the project for the "Good 4 The Neighborhood (G4N)" competition, which this year focussed its projects on a 'saving star'. The class' reasoning for this project being a saving star, is that normally a prosthetic hand costs around $10,000 and months to build, but the hand that this class built only costed about $50 and took roughly two weeks. The winning school of the G4N competition will win $10,000. If our school won, we would use the prize money to buy a second 3D printer.

After a couple of weeks, and some failures later, they assembled two hands to give to Zizi, and presented them to her at her school. At the occurrence, there was press present and students took pictures and videos. As a result of this, thousands of people around Aruba have seen what the class has done. This project was even nominated for "Proyecto den Scol 2015," or Project of the Year 2015. Zizi, her teacher, Mr. Willeford, Mr. Peter, and three students from the class attended the award ceremony to receive the award. We have conducted several interviews with a selected group of students who are currently in the Makerspace class and made this project possible.

Maya Charley: Project President

Interview led by Editor-in-chief: Rachel Maduro

How long did it take to make the prototype?

Making the prototype took no longer than about two weeks. We had to print the hand with our 3D printer and then assemble it with the strings it needs to move. I wouldn't call it easy, but with teamwork and patience, we made it without too many complications.

Have you previously been through any other experience similar to this one?

I can't say I've ever experienced anything like this before. Not only was it an amazing teamwork experience, but I would also consider this as one of the greatest things I have ever taken part in. I feel like I've done something good, and nothing feels better than knowing all your hard work has paid off. Physically being there to give Zizi her hand was an unforgettable moment for me and for all of my classmates.

What was your initial reaction when you found out what the project you'd be working on in class would be?

My initial reaction was mixed. In a way, I had doubts that we wouldn't finish it in time, or that we wouldn't be able to actually make it work. But, another part of me was determined to make this project a success. I think everyone was too motivated to think about any other possible outcome.

What was your contribution to the project?

I was president of this project. My job was to make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to do and to make sure we were keeping on track. And for a group of high school students, staying focused can sometimes be a challenge. But with this particular project, everyone not only just did what they were supposed to, but they wanted to do it. And that's what I thought was so special about this project. Everyone enjoyed it and every single person had an important job.

What has this taught you? And how could you apply it to your life?

This project taught me multiple things. It taught me how to be a team leader, how to work well with other people, and how to communicate. Communication is such an important thing, in almost everything and this project definitely strengthened my ability to communicate. I feel like I could apply this experience to my life in a few ways. I truly noticed how the smallest action of kindness can completely change someone's life. Some things that we take for granted, can be the greatest gift to someone else. And this not only applies to the hand, but in all life experiences. I learned the importance of appreciating what I have, and I will always do whatever I can to give back to those who don't have the same.

Fabio Landa: Engineer

Interview led by Editor: Valentina Alvarez

What were some challenges that you faced during the project?

While we were doing this project, we faced a lot of challenges like misprinted parts of the prototype, lack of time between classes and breaks.

What would you do different if you were going to do the project again?

If I was going to do this project again, I would make sure that everything is more organized. Next time I will make sure that we have the necessary amount of time.

What was the process like?

The process in general was really hard and challenging. The project took about 8 weeks; We worked on the project during makerspace class and eventually we took times of other classes like caribbean history and science and sometimes during break time. Sven and I worked on the making of the 3D prosthetic hand.

What did you learn from this project?

In the making of this project I learned that helping each other is the best thing that someone can do.

Zizi Fieldtrip.jpg

Mauricio Gutierrez: Video Editor - Engineer

Interview led by Editor: Randall Murray

How do you feel about this project?

For someone it is really important to have a good self esteem, that's why this project was an amazing experience because it allowed us to give a kid a second chance in life with more possibilities to do something with now two hands.

Would you participate in this again? Why?

Yes of course, because it was a good experience that we had as a class working together to build a prosthetic hand for Zizi Nais.

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