Connect with us

Incredible Kids

High School Students Build New Arm For Disabled Girl So She Can Be A Bionic Cello Player

Kayla Arqueta was born without her left hand and part of her forearm, but she was determined to play the cello. That’s when a group of local high school students stepped in to make her a prosthetic arm.

Arqueta, who attends Austin Middle School in Irving, Texas, went to tryout night and told the school’s orchestra director Carly Addison that she wanted to join in the orchestra.

“I couldn’t look at Kayla and say no,” says Addison. “When you see a kid advocate for themselves, you just have to do it. Then, it was like all the doors just opened up.”

Addison took to Google and did some research. She found an article about a musical prosthetic developed by Dr. Jennifer Mankoff with the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. The story detailed how a young man learned to play the cello after being given the prosthetic arm.

Addison called the phone number listed on the university website. To her surprise, Dr. Mankoff answered.

“This is a renowned researcher associated with Google, IBM, Microsoft, and she just answered the phone with a, ‘Hi, it’s Jen,'” Addison said. “After confirming it was Jen – as in Jennifer Mankoff – I explained why I was calling, and she said the blueprints on the website were free for public use. We just needed 3D printing technology.”

With this information, Addison reached out to Nimitz High School engineering teacher Dwight Davison, whose classroom had recently acquired three 3D printers.

“He was like, what an awesome opportunity for Kayla, what an awesome opportunity for my students.”

With Davison’s guidance, a group of six volunteer students began creating the prosthetic for Kayla. The students worked through the challenges of being in different class periods as well as more technical issues relating to the prosthetic’s comfort and durability.

With the prosthetic, Kayla can play the cello—and she is so grateful for the students who took the time to help her on her journey to playing music.

“I learned that people are willing to help, and that it’s okay to be different,” Kayla said. “I would like other students to know that life is challenging, but everyone is going to love you for who you are.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending Now

Colorful Cartoons Are The Best Way To Remind Yourself THere’s Still Good News Out There, And This Instagram Artist Is On It


Spotify For Fish: Scientists Use Speakers to Bring Marine Life Back To Dying Coral Reefs


Man Paralyzed From the Neck Down Can Now Walk, Do The Hokey Pokey Thanks To A Medical Innovation


Microsoft Workers Give Back By Donating Almost 2,000 Hours To Charity In 2019

Good Business

“They Just Want To Enjoy Being Together”—Dying Man Shares One Last Beer With Children In Viral Photo


Robots In Disguise: Paralyzed Veteran Becomes First Woman To Complete The NYC Marathon Wearing A Robotic Exoskeleton


Sia Hopped Down From Her Chandelier To Buy Groceries For Lucky Walmart Customers On Thanksgiving

Celebs With Heart

Men Fight Off Knife-Wielding Terrorist With Fire Extinguisher And Narwhal Tusk Because 2019 Is Wild

Real Life Heroes

Stray Pup Caught Sheltering A Litter Of Kittens In The Cold (Better Not Let His Dog Friends Find Out)

Awesome Animals

High School Robotics Team Makes Sweet Rides For Kids With Disabilities

Incredible Kids

Teacher Honors Mother’s Dying Wish And Adopts Son With Down Syndrome


Boy Kicks Cancer’s Ass, Gets New Leg, And Starts Playing Football Again

Incredible Kids

Love good news? Get it delivered straight to your inbox!

Sign up FREE!