A feat of engineering — and more

Guest Blog by Andrew VunCannon

East Mecklenburg High School, NC

My school has an academy of engineering. Each year the engineering classes complete a project to better the school or to improve the quality of life for the students.

A couple years ago the engineering class decided to invent something to help Brian one of our special needs students, who is beloved throughout the school. Brian was born with a condition known as arthrogryposis or amyloplasia. This condition prevents him from being able to properly use his shoulders or bend his elbows. Therefore, it is impossible for him to perform many everyday functions that we take for granted.

The engineering class project focused on inventing a spoon that Brian could use to feed himself. Each group submitted a design and sketches for a spoon that would allow someone who could not use their arms to lift food from the plate to their mouth. After every group submitted their plan, the class chose the most feasible design and built a prototype of Brian’s spoon.

With the help of community members, the spoon was manufactured in aluminum. An attorney alumnus has now submitted the plans for patent.


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