04252018 Headline:

Interact offers a helping hand

RAHS club joins local Rotary Club to make Bionic Arms for those in need

By Isabelle Meboe

President of Interact Club sophomore Anusha Gani leads a meeting in which Bionic Arm and several other projects are discussed.                 Photo Credit: Semay Alazar

The Southcenter Rotary Club is a gathering of business owners around the Tukwila community who have taken it upon themselves to recruit RAHS’ Interact Club in one of their projects. The purpose of the Bionic Arm project is to create 3D prosthetics for amputees.

Sophomore Alex Lam has been co-leading Interact Club’s role in the Bionic Arm project, alongside sophomore Joe Pacini. They are both excited for the opportunity to help the community, and thankful that RAHS has the tools enabling them to support the program.

“It was basically introduced to us by this [local] Rotary Club,” said Lam, “and because we have 3D printer technology at our school we could print out a bionic arm for people in need.”

Renee Olsen, RAHS’ Career Choices teacher, has taken a lead with Interact Club in their passion to make a positive impact in the community.

“We are at the beginning stages now,” said Olsen. “Last week we got the details and the club is trying to see if this is something our students would like to participate in.”

Pacini is looking forward to the project and how the bionic arms Interact will build will directly help a person in need.

“They’ll fund us the parts that we need as long as we have the 3D printer,” said Pacini, “so it’s basically print and assemble, and then send it back to the Rotary Club so they can provide it to someone in need in our community.”

Overall, Lam is confident about the prospects of Bionic Arm.

“I feel like it’s a good opportunity to just help out the community,” said Lam. “It’s a project that’s going to take a lot of work but I feel like it will pay off I think Rotary will be that middle person to providing it to the person [in need].”

Pacini agrees, and despite the long slog that is in store for the students, thinks success is at the other end of the long tunnel.

“It seems like it’s going to be a lot of work and it’s going to take a lot of time,” said Pacini, “but I think given the students that we have in our long-term project committee, I think it’s definitely doable and we can definitely get it done.”

In addition to helping with Bionic Arm, Interact is simultaneously assisting in their other annual projects.

“Our group is divided into four sections; long-term projects, WE day, and so on,” said Lam. “We’re the long-term projects [section] so we deal with stuff that can take a longer amount of time to complete, so like the Bionic Arm. It’s a process.”

While they are happy to create the arms for people in need, Interact Club nevertheless needs money to power their contribution to the community.

“Just a heads up that we might be coming out with a fundraiser to help support the funding of filament because it’s quite expensive, so we can actually use the 3D printer,” said Pacini, “but it’s for a good cause and to help someone in need so i think it’s definitely worth it.”

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