A mechanical engineering student attending Northern Illinois University recently created a prosthetic device for a 12-year-old girl so she could play the violin more easily, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.
Oleasun Taiwo, 20, invented a mobility accessory for Sarah Valentiner, an eighth grader living in DeKalb, Illinois, who was born without a right hand. The device was designed specifically to assist Valentiner in holding the bow to a violin.
Federico Sciammarella, an associate mechanical engineering professor, supervised Taiwo over the summer while he tinkered with designs using a 3D printer. Sciammarella reportedly said, “I gave Oleseun the opportunity and the guidance, but this is his design.”
Taiwo met Valentiner once a week to test prototypes, and finally found the perfect match which fit her comfortably and allowed her to play the violin with more ease. She was previously using a device that was gifted to her by the local Shriner’s Club.
Valentiner’s parents found Taiwo through a global volunteering network, e-Nable, in which designers offer their expertise to create prosthetic hands.
Valentiner couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. She said, “It wasn’t so much whether it would be a success, but the thought behind it that made this so great.” She has since expressed desire to become an engineer when she grows up so that she can help people, too.
Banner photo credit: YouTube screenshot, Northern Illinois University