Teachers use 3D printer to make prosthetic finger for student

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FOX 46 Charlotte recognize teachers getting results in the classroom.

This week, two educators are being highlighted.  They both contributed to changing one student's life for the better.

"When he took it out, I was like, 'whoa, that's really cool,'" said fifth grade student AC Lingerfelt.

The prosthetic index finger she now wears was made by two teachers at Hickory Grove-Sharon Elementary School in York County.

"I was really surprised at first," said Lingerfelt. "I thought it would be a finger that would just stay straight, but it can actually bend."

Fourth grade teacher Ryan Clemence and third grade teacher Rachael Shriver basically changed Lingerfelt's life.

"I knew it was possible, so when she asked if I could do it, I asked if I could see her finger because I didn't know she was missing one," said Clemence. 

"It's not something I ever thought I could do, but the gift of being able to give her ten fingers again, it's life-changing," said Shriver.  

The two educators worked together during Christmas break, using the skills they learned at a 3D printer training in Greenville, to make a prosthetic finger using a 3D printer.'

Lingerfelt had lost her finger in a farming accident about a year ago.

"At first, I wasn't able to tie my shoe," she said.  "I couldn't play the piano as well-- it was hard to adjust, but I can do those two things now."

She can also write better and throw the softball again.

"It's really cool. It's nice to know it's outside of academics and something that will impact her the rest of her life," said Clemence.

"It made me feel pretty great," said Shriver. "It's nice to be able to give back to a student something they had lost in an accident."

"I'm really thankful for what they did, and now I can do things I wasn't able to do before," Lingerfelt said.