Lending a Hand Student Design Competition Winners Announced

We are pleased announce the winners of our Lending a Hand design competition. The competition was open to all 2nd year engineering students here in DCU. The students were asked to design ready to assemble parts of a fully moveable and controllable prosthetic hand, to be 3D printed. The winning design will be used as an educational toolkit to inspire the next generation to choose engineering disciplines.

The competition was funded as part of the Quality Improvement and Development (QuID) funding 2017. It was aimed at increasing student engagement by allowing students to be creative, work in teams and think about what inspired them to choose engineering. It aimed to improve the quality of the student learning experience in DCU for 2nd year Engineering students by developing creative design and CAD skills from their lectures and tutorials (in particular in MM225, delivered by Dr. Paul Young). The competition was introduced to the students during their lecture and was integrated as a sub-set of their assignment for the module.

As an added incentive to participate, there were monetary prizes of €150 first place team, €75 for the runners-up and €25 for the class vote winners. The students first did concept designs for the toolkit so as to develop their creativity and design thought process. They then translated this to a graphical design using SolidWorks software. They submitted both the concept design and the graphical 3D design as their entry.

The winning team consisted of Kate Galvin, Katie O’Brien and Nathan Cahill. The runners-up were Angela Prior, James Kelly and Shauna Ellen Murphy and the class vote winners were Aaron Dunphy, Sophie Mills and Elochukwa Agozie Njeze.

The Winning Design

A class size set of the toolkit will now be 3D-printed. These ‘ready-to-assemble’ toolkits will then be brought to an outreach session with a transition year class in a local school. The goal here is to inspire an interest in STEM disciplines among second-level students. In particular, there will be a focus on promoting engineering as a Leaving Certificate subject. The winners of the competition will be asked to join the outreach session in the school. They will be given prior training on communication skills and STEM-related pedagogies through the support of Dr. Charlotte Holland and colleagues from the DCU Institute of Education. This will be beneficial for the students in their professional development and a good addition to their C.V.

Many congratulations to the winners and to all who participated.