SPOKANE, Wash. – Three Shadle Park High School sophomores’ prosthetic arm earned them a return trip to the national Math Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) after they took first place at the state competition in Seattle.
Kleopatra Deltchev, Jessica Lim and Hailey Guyette designed and built a prosthetic arm for the second year in a row as part of the MESA program. At the state competition, they placed first overall. They also got first place on their technical paper and second place on their display board. On the exercises, they took first in object relocation and dexterity and second place on distance accuracy.
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Last year, the students admitted, their prosthetic arm was heavy, a bit clunky and challenging to control. This year, they started from scratch. The interviewed local professionals and changed their design completely. The end result: a lighter, more efficient model.
The students said their experience at the national MESA competition helped motivate them to do better.
“We got there and we’re like, ‘Oh wow, look at these arms,’” Deltchev said. “So we wanted to have an arm that’s more durable and also that would be more efficient for the tasks that we’re doing.”
The three students put in dozens of hours of time outside of school perfecting their prosthetic arm. They will compete against the other state MESA winners at the national competition in Portland, June 19-22.