Teen Creates 3D-Printed Lunch Tray for Special Needs Students, Wins STEM Award

Students at Pope Prep High School in Hendersonville, Tennessee, were encouraged by one of their teachers to come up with ideas of things that can be created to benefit others.

Not only did 15-year-old Adaline Hamlin come up with a genius idea, but her prototype won her the Tennessee STEM and Innovation Network’s STEM for ALL award.

Photo: YouTube/Inside Edition

Her idea was a 3D printed attachment for lunch trays that make it easier for students with special needs to carry their trays without dropping the contents while walking to a lunch table.

Hamlin came up with the idea after she witnessed a student drop the contents of their lunch off their tray and all over the floor. Her empathy toward this person fueled her idea and motivated her to come up with a way to help.

Photo: YouTube/Inside Edition

Her first prototype used straws to form stops to fit plates, cups, and whatever else needs to be carried on the tray. Bendy straws allowed her to place them in certain angles that could fit the contents on the tray in place correctly.

With help from Zach Ranch, a senior at the school’s 3D printing club, Hamlin was able to then produce the actual 3D printed pieces for the trays.

Photo: YouTube/Inside Edition

Since her idea was so successful, she is now making the design available to other schools so that she can help even more students.

Learn more about Hamlin’s amazing idea in the video below:

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