The importance of Technological literacy is growing, so we created a project for students 9-12. However, this project can be used by anyone who has a need for an eating utensil grip.
Within the Standards for Technological Literacy, STL 14 - K of the Designed World states: Medical technologies include prevention and rehabilitation, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, medical and surgical procedures, genetic engineering, and the systems within which health is protected and maintained.
In other words, we want students to critically think about an example of a medical technology, specifically one focused on rehabilitation.
This project is simple, yet useful, as many people know someone who suffers from Tremors or motor skill issues. It can be created using cheap and at home materials!
Step 1: Assemble Materials
Adjustable hand strap
- This will secure your Grip to your hand
- A Velcro strap (10-12 inches for an adult hand) OR a small dog collar with two pieces of Velcro
- This is the part that you can attach utensils to, and that your hands hold
- Soft Dish Sponge OR Foam (like from a swimming noodle)
Utensil Cushion Casing
- This will make your Utensil cushion more comfortable and hold your handle together
- Scrap Fabric (5 inches X 7 inches or more)
- Small magnets (1 to 2)
- This will make the attachment of metal utensils easier. Our example was from a sheet of an old fridge magnet.
- Hot glue or craft glue
These materials can be found at home, in school, at convenience stores, or thrift shops. They're easy to come by and of a practical cost. In fact, some of the materials we reused and re-purposed. This can serve as an example of being responsible in the consumption of resources and promoting the use of recycling as a habit.
Also, the measurements do not have to be exact, as the subjects for this utensil can vary in size and age. This concept ties in with that of the STL 14. Medical Technologies often have to be flexible to meet the needs of the patient. Our focus, rehabilitation rarely can fall under a one size fits all policy. And, we believe this is something students can observe first hand in the coming steps of the project.
Step 2: Measure Hand Size
Take the measurement of the area below your fingers but above your thumb. This will determine how secure your utensil will be.
Take this number and add two to three inches.
Cut your Adjustable strap to this length, then set aside.
This can serve as a chance to exercise careful measurement taking and safety when using scissors.
Step 3: Make the Utensil Cushion
Take your foam of choice and roll it into a cylinder with a two inch diameter around the adjustable hand strap.
Secure the foam in place with a little glue.
Then make a casing made of fabric.
This fabric casing will keep your foam from falling off.
Step 4: Attach Magnets
Use your glue to secure 1 to 2 magnets that attract silverware on the outside of your utensil cushion. This application will add more usability to your product.
Step 5: Attach Velcro
If your adjustable strap doesn't already have a latching mechanism, add Velcro.
This will help keep your strap securely on the hand.
Step 6: Test and Make Adjustments
Try out your device for usability. Ask yourself questions on whether it can be improved.
- Is the diameter of the foam too big or small?
- Does the adjustable strap too tight or loose?
- Are the magnets strong enough to hold onto silverware?
Then, reflect on aspects of this project's purpose.
- Was this device less expensive to make or purchase online?
- How can this overall design be improved?