High School Students Participate in Enabling Engineering Project

High school students participating in an Enabling Engineering internship program designed a training tool to identify and treat femoral hematomas and improved a wheelchair camera mount.

This article originally appeared on Northeastern Global News. It was published by Cyrus Moulton. Main photo: Priyanka Jalan, program manager and Iniyan Manikandavelu, 3D printing assistant, at Enabling Engineering, demonstrate a new durable, low-cost wheelchair camera mount at Ell Hall on May 10, 2023. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

A femoral hematoma is not a typical problem for a high schooler. In fact, identifying and treating such a serious bruise can give even health care professionals trouble.

Nor is a high schooler typically focused on how to keep a camera steady for filming while using a wheelchair.

But these challenges were on the minds of high school students who took part in the Enabling Engineering internship program this summer at Northeastern University.

“You took our ideas and what you presented was what we hoped, what we imagined — in fact, it was even better than we hoped,” Deirdre Hamilton, a nurse at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told the team of students who developed a training tool to correctly identify and treat femoral hematomas.

Enabling Engineering is a Northeastern student-led group that designs and builds devices to empower individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. This summer, the group collaborated with For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) — a global robotics community preparing young people for the future — to offer a seven-week internship program.

Students from Newton, Massachusetts, worked on two projects.

The first team — Franklin Ji, Dennis Lin and Chloe Kwan — improved upon the stability, adjustability and accessibility of a wheelchair camera mount that NU students designed over the spring 2023 semester in collaboration with a filmmaker in Malawi with the Disability Justice Project who uses a wheelchair.

“There is more stability, more rotation and it is easier to adjust, as well as more versatile,” Kwan said.

The team also made the roughly $90 mount smaller when broken down in pieces, which made it much less expensive to ship.

“It’s exciting, I feel like we’re much closer” to a final product, said Jody Santos, executive director of the nonprofit, which trains people with disabilities from the Global South in documentary storytelling.

A second team tackled the hematoma conundrum, with Brigham and Women’s Hospital nurses Hamilton and Laurie Demeule as clients.

The team members explained that cardiac catheterizations through the pelvic region can develop hematomas or painful and serious bruises where blood collects and pools beneath the skin. The team described the feeling as like a golf ball was underneath the skin and, indeed, the teaching model for identifying hematomas currently involves a stress ball over a golf ball or a marble.

Read full story at Northeastern Global News

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