Hand in Hand Program

The program runs in August each year and has been held at Health Sciences Charter School, 1140 Ellicott St. Buffalo, NY 14209

This Program engages middle and high school youth in use of technology and computer design to fabricate prosthetic hands. Students will have a variety of hands-on experiences preparing them for technology design. The prosthetic hands are donated to children in need locally and abroad.

Participant Applicants should be students in grade 6-12. Those having attended the program in the past or who can demonstrate experience in 3D technology may be assigned to an Advanced group. There is a nominal fee to participate.

Project Team Leader Applicants should be a junior or senior in high school and already participating in a technology program or have participated in Hand in Hand 2017,  2018 or 2019. Project Team Leaders should be prepared to take direction from the teachers in charge, assist the program participants as instructed, and be a role model for engaged service learning.

Project Team Leaders who have applied previously need not reapply but must send a letter of interest signed by them and a parent. Project Team Leaders will receive extra leadership training, and will be expected to apply these skills during the program. Project Team Leaders will receive a $200 stipend and their registration fees will be waived.

A new related initiative is a partnership to replicate the Hand in Hand program in Ghana.

To see a recent news story about the program, click HERE.

For more information, contact Dr. Michelle Kavanaugh, Acting Executive Director, mkavanaugh@wnystem.org / 585-690-7311

Thank You to Our Sponsors!


The Garman Family Foundation

Administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo



First Niagara Foundation Kelly for Kids Foundation   Pharma






Health Sciences Charter School Miller 3D Printing Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Care United Way of Buffalo and Erie CountyCenter for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences


Life-changing. Surprising. Inspiring: these were some of the words students enrolled in Hand in Hand, a science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) summer program, used to describe the experience they had designing four prosthetic hands for children in need using 3D printing technology.

Hand in Hand exposes students, primarily from local urban middle and high schools, to basic knowledge of anatomy and careers in medical technology, plus fundamental technology skills in 3D printing, engineering design, computer coding, and advanced fabrication, in addition, leadership training and service learning. Online open source resources provided by e-NABLE, a global community of volunteers who fabricate assistive devices for people in need all over the world, guided the final design and fabrication of the prosthetic hands.

This two-week program has a tremendous impact on the students, the teachers, and the recipients and their families, too. Felice Masumbuko, a senior from Lackawanna High School in 2018 was one of the 15 Project Team Leaders that year, and commented, “Thanks to this program, I was able to ‎interact with different types of people with different perspectives and learn from each and everyone one of them. I also learned how to apply my knowledge to certain tasks I have never done before.”

Hand in Hand Program

Amy McCarthy, recipient Katelyn’s mother said, “Getting this prosthetic arm will allow Katelyn to be more independent. We are so grateful to be part of this project.”

Innovative education projects like this are a priority for AT&T, the inaugural sponsor of Hand in Hand in 2017.

Kevin Hanna, Director of External Affairs for AT&T, said, “AT&T is proud to have been able to collaborate with WNY STEM. As the world’s economy continues to transform at a robust pace — requiring a workforce with a focus on technological education and literacy — STEM and STEAM programs like this one that provide immersive learning environment are vital to ensure that students are equipped with the skills so they are able to compete in today’s innovation economy.”