Students develop solution for teacher with prosthetic

Butler Tech’s mission is transforming the lives of our students by making them career-ready and college-prepared. However, in achieving that mission, often students’ lives are transformed in much more personal and meaningful ways.

Taylor Blackburn, Amane Ohhashi, and Jonah Dangel, freshmen at Lakota West, recently experienced just that in their PLTW Introduction to Engineering Design class with Scott Fetzer. The students recognized that English teacher, Kendra Herber, had received a new prosthetic leg that limited her ability to wear sandals or flats due to a height discrepancy, causing hip misalignment and gait issues.

PLTW Engineering Design students

The students immediately set out to define the problem, generate concepts, develop a solution, and ultimately construct and test a prototype for Mrs. Herber.

“The three of us really took this project on head-first. We wanted to do what we could to help Mrs. Herber and make her life a little easier. We asked questions about what she needed and why, and we were determined to help fix the problem,” said the team.

The students used the skills learned in class to follow the design process, ensuring they had the best outcome that fit Mrs. Herber’s needs.

“All that was going through our minds was that we needed to find the best solution as soon as possible. We were constantly trying to improve the original design and make it more practical. We made many trips back and forth to Mrs. Herber’s room, trying to see what would not only work the best but look the best, considering it was going to replace a shoe,” they shared.

In the end, the trio created and presented their finished product to Mrs. Herber. prosthetic leg project

“They showed me the final product today, and I’m really impressed with its practicality and their resourcefulness and hard work.  I can’t wait to put their product to use!  This is a great example of how capable our students are here at West Freshman,” shared Mrs. Herber.