Page 60 - South Mississippi Living - April, 2024
P. 60

            Gulfport High School’s Team Fusion 3D Prints Prosthetic Legs for Patients in Peru
story by Lynn Lofton photos courtesy of Gulfport High School
 Since its start in 1999, the Gulfport
High School robotics team, Team Fusion, has proven to be a competitive team, having won multiple regional events. It’s now a mentor to several rookie teams in Mississippi and Louisiana. But perhaps its most noteworthy accomplishment thus far is a trip to Peru to make three-dimensional prints of human limbs for use by real patients.
The trip came about through a collaboration between Gulfport High construction teacher, Dave Huffman, and the Construction teacher at an Alabama high school, Brian Copes, explains Team Fusion instructor Don Keyser. “Through a Harbor Freight Tools for Schools contest, we were invited to join the team since
we had several 3D printers and students capable of operating them,” he says. “We have 3D printed enough upper and lower knees, and ankles, to assemble about 100 prosthetic legs. Our 3D printed parts are on several patients throughout Central America and now in Peru.”
Four students and three teachers from Gulfport High went on this trip. They were accompanied by students and teachers from Chickasaw High School in Mobile and Desert Valley High School in Tuscan, Arizona.
Student Cedric Walker said, “The trip to Peru was life changing and and made me appreciate what I have and what I have access to.”
Another student, Raegan Mueller, said, “The interactions I had with the recipients made me have a new level of graciousness and optimism in the world. It just felt right, like I had finally found my purpose.”
Grayson Huffman enjoyed the culture of Peru and how it inspired its people
to persevere. “Despite the loss of their legs, they continued to work as hard as they possibly could,” he said. “It gave me a glimpse into how much importance Peruvian culture places on family.”
For their next project, the Construction and Engineering classes at Gulfport High will collaborate on converting a shipping container into a welding classroom,
which will be shipped to Colombia. The construction class will insulate and build out the walls and workstations within the shipping container, and the engineering class will install the electrical requirements, breaker panel, lighting and outlets.
“We have much more to tell about
our robotics program, solar power case for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, students getting an electric vehicle running, and that’s only in our engineering class,” Keyser said. “There is much more going on in the CTE hallways at Gulfport High.”
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