Curbell Plastics helps students create lightweight prostheses

Curbell Plastics Inc. has donated $18,000 in plastic to Alabama high school students, who will use the plastic to create lightweight prosthetics for amputees in Honduras.

The project is a shared effort of Calera High School, the SME Education Foundation and Vincennes University HTEC program, which provided resources needed to manufacture the prostheses. The prosthetic devices use a combination of plastic and rubber, and are designed to withstand sand and water. Cost of production is substantially lower than typical prostheses, which could reach up to $60,000 each, according to a company press release. 

“We were inspired to make this donation, not only to assist those in need of the prostheses, but also to champion the students of Calera High School for the incredible work they have done,” Tracy Schiedel, director of marketing of Curbell Plastics Inc., stated in the release. “It is a fine example of demonstrating what kind of rewards a career in engineering or material science might provide in the future.”

Students will travel to Honduras this summer to deliver the prostheses and will work with a local clinic to fit approximately 20 limbs.

“I truly believe that my students get as much out of this program as those who benefit from the prosthetic limbs,” Brian Copes, middle and high school teacher at Calera High School, stated in the release. “We are grateful to connect with Curbell Plastics, and for their generous donation to enable us to improve the lives of our new friends in Honduras.” 

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