Students build prostheses and equipment for charity -

Students build prostheses and equipment for charity

Students in Brian Copes' technology and engineering class  at Calera High School in Alabama have spent years competing and winning with vehicles they built themselves. 

"The competitions themselves are a very rewarding experience," said Copes. "When my students can go up and compete against college teams, [they] realize, ‘Maybe college is for me.'" 

But this time, they are working for a much higher cause. 

"We can go to competitions for the rest of my career if we want to, but our ultimate goal is to help others," Copes explained. 

So instead of competing, students put in hundreds of hours equipping two multi-use four-wheel drive vehicles for people in remote village in Honduras. 

"This water rock drill is designed to go from village to village and drill for fresh water," said Austin Wright, one of Copes' students.

There's also a tiller attachment to help with farming and raising food. 

Student Meghan Ryan is focused on making prosthetic limbs for villagers who have undergone amputations. 

"They are free-diving for lobsters and developing the bends and that's why they are having to get their limbs amputated," she explained. 

The limbs are designed with many of the same parts used in the all-terrain vehicles. 

"We use a lot of Corolla parts," said Copes. "Corolla is the most abundant car in the world. If something for the prosthetics goes wrong with the knee joint or ankle joint, they can get some replacement parts in the country." 

So how did it all get started? 

Copes says a mission trip to Liberia changed him. He's been to five continents since then and is hoping that his students have the same opportunities. 

Student Christian McDonald is on board. 

"I want to go on this trip [to Honduras] because I want to help the world," he said. 

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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