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High school students compete with prosthetics design projects

prosthetic-arm-poster-80SPOKANE, Wash. – Eighty students from Spokane high schools will put their prosthetic arm designs to the test as part of an annual team project and competition sponsored by Spokane MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement).

The ninth graders will compete 8:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in the Pence Union Building on the Eastern Washington University campus in Cheney.

Poster from a previous year’s competition.

Teams have researched, designed, built and tested devices that mimic movement of the wrist, hand and fingers. The Prosthetic Arm Challenge tests performance of each low-cost device in four predefined tasks:

• Distance accuracy: Balls of three different sizes are tossed into target containers located at three different distances.

• Object relocation: Greatest mass-to-time ratio achieved by placing objects of varying weights into the specified containers.

• Dexterity: Greatest number of bolts and nuts correctly placed and secured onto the testing device.

• Design efficiency: Greatest ratio of device performance to device mass.

In addition to these tasks, each student team will be judged on a technical paper, oral presentation to Spokane STEM professional volunteers and academic display.

This year’s competition is made possible through the support of event host and Spokane MESA co-sponsor Eastern Washington University.

Washington State University is a member of the Spokane MESA advisory board. Learn more about MESA at



Joanna Moznette, Spokane MESA, 509-358-7966,

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