Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 24 Cassandra models the simplicity and power of blogs

On yesterdays post I asked "What can we as women do to help Shape the Future of Educational Technology?  How can we bring ourselves to the conversation?"   Well one way is to make ourselves visible in the blogosphere.  Today's post is about a remarkable young lady who models this well.  Meet Cassandra!

  A few months ago I met Cassandra, a 12th grade girl from Canada because she shared journey using a blog format. I was not only very impressed by her goals, and the actions she has taken towards meeting those goals,  but was also most impressed by her commitment to document that journey.   Learning to use a blogging platform is a simple but powerful tool that women and girls can use to bring themselves into the conversations that shape the future of technology and the future of our world. 

Cassandra's first blog post from October 10, 2014, not only kicks off her journey, but it also describes her goals, establishes her as a  young woman with a purpose and with some 'smarts' and 'skills'.   It also gives us a chance to connect with her as a person by hearing the story of her grandmother and the role she played in inspiring the Cassandra's project. 
GREAT  example  of how to document your work, tell your story, inspire others, and make connections.  It also adds one more tech-savvy female voice to the blogosphere!

Check out Cassandra's blog starting with her first blog post and then read the rest chronologically to see the progress she's made in such a short period of time. 

------------------- From Cassandra's blog  (October 10, 2014) --------------------

Hello everyone!

My name is Cassandra and I am a grade 12 student in New Brunswick, Canada. This blog is to record my journey as I progress through my physics final project. For this project, I have 3D printed a prosthetic hand. The design is courtesy of 3D Universe and can be downloaded here. Using the included tensioner system, I plan on automating this. By using Servo motors and a programmed Arduino chip and a 5- button panel to indivudally control which finger is bent and what degree it is bent. I am not sure how I will power the motors and chip yet, but I am leaning towards solar rechargeable batteries. I would have two sets, so one can charge in the sun during the day while the other is in use.

This project presents many challenges for me. I have absolutely no background in circuits. I have some background in programming, but it still needs a lot of work. the additional assembly parts, motors, Arduino and button panel all add up to cost a pretty penny; I have little money to invest in this project. I also have to design a second gauntlet to put all of this additional equipment on. I think I will use to design it. These are all minor roadblocks however, as I have support and guidance in these areas so I can begin to master these valuable skills.

The inspiration for this project comes from my grandmother, who is an amputee. She lost her leg below the knee when she was 19 after getting hit by a car. My grandmother's sister is also a leg amputee, and will lose her knee soon because her prosthetic rubs her stump very harshly and the device itself is too expensive to be replaced. Inspiration also comes from 3D universe, they are comparing their design to modern prosthetic hands. The cost difference is remarkable. They are also working to make their design more available to the public. Check out their work here.Project Daniel  is also a great inspiration. In fall 2013,  Mick Ebeling of Not Impossible travelled to Sudan with Microsoft Surfaces, 3D printers and plastic to war ridden Sudan. Over 50,000 people, mainly children, have been left amputees. The project began with one boy, named Daniel. Ebeling created and printed a prosthetic arm for Daniel and taught hi how to design, build and print limbs for others. Even though Ebling is no longer there, Daniel and his others continue to print limbs for others in need. Check out this video to learn more about the Daniel Project.

This project won't be easy for me, I will work for hours. Things will go wrong. I will probably cry, smile, scowl and laugh throughout the entire course of this project, but I will take so much away from this project. What I take away from this project isn't the point of why I decided to attempt this. My physics teacher taught me this: science and engineering and special technology isn't just for the advancement of our own minds or to make life easier for us. The purpose for all of that is to help others and make life easier for them. That is my main purpose for this project.


No comments:

Post a Comment