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Schoolwide Prosthetics Engineering Project Introduces Science Careers to Bishop Connolly Students

Capping off a school year of STEM experiences, Bishop Connolly High School conducted a schoolwide engineering project in June, which immersed students in the design of animal prosthetics. Under the direction of Bishop Connolly engineering teacher Ellen Russell, three multi-grade student teams researched and designed a variety of animal prosthetics, including a beak for an eagle, a temporary hoof for a horse, and a limb for a small sea turtle. As part of the project, the teams participated in workshops on CAD programming, 3D printing, research presentation, and video production to chronicle their prosthetics work.

The weeklong project included educational presentations throughout the BCHS campus that featured miniature horses, a peregrine falcon, a red-tailed hawk, a screech owl, a great horned owl, and Jaxson, a French Bulldog with a custom-made rear wheelchair. Students also dissected a small turtle to provide them with valuable anatomical information for their limb designs. Virtual workshops highlighting animal prosthetic designs currently in the field included Beauty the Eagle fit with a prosthetic beak, and Willis the horse fit with a prosthetic leg.

STEM professionals in veterinary medicine and animal rehabilitation were also on hand to share their expertise, providing both on-site and virtual instruction to BCHS student teams. They included: Shara Rapoza, Director, Buttonwood Park Zoo; Mark T. Reilly, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, MBA, South Shore Equine Clinic & Diagnostic Center; Kimberly Dinan, DVM, MS, CVA, CCRP, CVCH, Medical Director, Lloyd Animal Hospital; Nicholas Radzykewycz, Software Engineer, FuzNuz Horse Equipment; Janie Veltkamp, Birds of Prey Northwest; and Julie Collier, Wingmasters.

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