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Lara Project

Follow Lara as she continues to blog about her new hand

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Posts from 2015-09-08

2nd July 2015

Well - last week was really, really busy but the weekend was also busy so it's taken a while to get around to typing...

Not much has changed with my hand - actually nothing - but there was loads going on last week with Channel 5 visiting school to film about the Lara Project.  I didn't know they were coming so it was quite a surprise when I came up from my GRADE 2 trumpet exam to meet my mum and be told that Channel 5 wanted to film immediately.  I was a bit  upset that  the examiner didn't notice my hand and give me an immediate distinction but she didn't!  I played really badly as well. 

So - I was allowed to bring 2 friends as the crew wanted to film some friends asking me about how my hand works.   I chose Emily and Eden so they got to hang around with me all morning as well.  First we filmed in a classroom.  The interviewer was called Warren but as I've never seen Channel 5 news I didn't recognise him.  There was also a cameraman called Johnny and another lady who came from Nigeria for work training.  They were all really nice and I wasn't nervous at all.  They asked the same questions!  I don't understand why they don't make a different story about my hand - like what everyone did on the Project Lara afternoon.  Then they wanted to film me playing my trumpet which took aaaaaages - my friends never want to hear me playing that piece again but I played it well and so I was hoping that the examiner would hear it on the telly and give me a good grade!!! Then we went outside and filmed me and Eden and Emily chatting.  By now we had been filming for 2 hours and the news piece is only supposed to be 5 mins long!  Then we wen to Lab 3 and they filmed Mrs Saffer and we had to play catch in the background. 

We got to have a try with Johnny's camera and it was really interesting and being a journalist seems like a good job but they were REALLY FUSSY about what they filmed.

It all took aaaaaaaages.   After they left we Sophie's sports day and a very late lunch and then we had to rush home to watch the news but it wasn't shown.  It then wasn't on Friday but it was finally shown on Tuesday.  After ALL THAT FILMING - it was a 5 minute piece and they got my name wrong (at least they got my age right - I'm 10!!!).   I'm really glad they finally mentioned Techielab but they didn't show any of the other hands that were made.

This has ended up being a long blog so my mum took over the typing near the top!!!



23rd June 2015


Well - it's been busy this week.  Just as everything was getting quieter we had a visit from Kent Media who wanted to do an article on my hand and the whole school project.  I made sure to stress I am 10 (I AM 10) ... after the BBC said I am 9... :(  :(

A really nice journalist called Graham came to the house and he asked me all the same questions that the BBC asked me except he was really funny and really interested in how my hand works and how a printer works.  I had to play my trumpet and then we had an arm wrestle - I won....!  Here's a picture of him interviewing me in the kitchen.  It's not normally that tidy!!! journo 2 

He made some good hand jokes - and suggested ways to do the perfect crime without leaving fingerprints!!! :):)

I got to go to school late (I missed maths) which was great.



22nd June 2015

Hi.  I've been in touch with one of the other girls who came to school to get another hand - Loen - to see if her dad managed to get her hand working because there wasn't enough time on the Build a Hand day.  I've not heard back from her yet.  It's a co-incidence because another newspaper is coming tomorrow and I broke a finger string today - luckily my mum could pop up to David and Dani and get some elastic.... she says it's way quicker than going to A & E! :) :) . Anyway tomorrow I've got another interview at our house because the Kent Messenger are coming. I'm glad they're still interested because it was fun going into  the shop to buy a paper with me on the front cover!!! :) :) :) For my music exam on Thursday I can show the examiner my new hand! (I might even get more points) and  lets hope that a finger won't break ! I also found a pen exactly the same colour as hand #1. It is quite funny to mark work in the colour of your hand :) :) (which is this colour!)

bye ! :) :) :)

18th June 2015

Today as soon as I got home from school I had a FaceTime interview with a lady from America called Liz.  We had the interview because she's doing a project with 3D printed prosthetics versus normal prosthetics.  She asked lots of questions - most of them my friends have already asked already but some of them were different.  She mostly wanted to know how useful I find my new hand and if I use it all the time or only for some things.  I told her that Emily thinks it should be called Prunella!  I told her how we had already changed the design in a small way by using crimps instead of knots and burning the thread off. 

My sister took a completed hand to show and tell (year 2) yesterday and said she had to take it back again today - I think she just likes wearing one because everyone talks to you when you have a new hand!


16th June 2015

OK - so today I am going to blog about Friday.... but there is so much to say that I'm going to tell my mum what to type and she will obey me!!

What a day! I woke up at 7 o'clock and quickly got dressed and had breakfast, brushed my hair and did my teeth (etc).  I was very nervous and excited at the same time but I had no time to worry because that's when the doorbell rang.  The BBC news reporter named Bryony came to interview and film me.  She had wanted to do a story on things I can do with my new hand that I couldn't do before but there wasn't enough to say - I can do things like  ride my bike  MUCH  better now but I could do it without my new hand.  So she had to change her story a bit.  First I rode my bike before we went inside and she asked me lots of questions like:

  • What's your name?
  • How old are you?
  • Do your friends like your hand?
  • Does it hurt?
  • How long have you had it?
  • Is it useful?
  • Did you choose the colours?

She fitted all her stuff into two backpacks - inside she kept a big camera (David would LOVE it), a mini-microphone that only awesome interviewees wear (like me :) ), a large fuzzy microphone that was very soft to touch and some other stuff. She also asked my mum a few questions (sadly she had to wear the awesome mini-microphone). 

We then went to school.  At lunchtime it all started - I went down to the Bickmore Hall (where the workshop was set up) and photocopied some things for my mum and lay them out on guest chairs.  Outside (on our way to Reception) we bumped into Loen (a girl with a thumb on her right hand but no full hand).  Then we took her to the music block to meet her buddy for the day - Eden.  All the visitors were buddied up with someone to make them more welcome.  Louise (my buddy) was the next to arrive.  The workshop started with a talk by Mr C and then Alex and Josh Pope-Saffer's granny explained how our hands work.  Then Mrs Saffer told us to get started.  Every team of 5 people had a hand to build.  Mine was pink, yellow and glow-in-the dark.  Everyone had to work as a team.  I think the girls had an advantage because they read the instructions better!!! People kept asking to see my hand to see how to do it.  One time, my friend Alicia, came over and asked to borrow my hand (she was obviously deep in thought as she said this) I replied "look at your own hands" and she said "OK, sure" before she walked away.  30 seconds later she came back saying "I can't use my own hands - they're not printed!". 

We had a break, biscuit and drink before we did some more hand building.  It was really interesting to see how it all worked because David and Dani built my last one and I didn't really get to see all the details.  It's really fiddly and you need 4 hands to build one hand!! All in all it was a great day.  When most people had left Oscar (the boy with no big hands) got one of his hands fitted and it worked really well - I think he was VERY happy :)  :)  :)  :)

Next we went home to watch the news............

14th June 2015

I have got Soooooo much to say about the last few days - there has been so much going on with the build-a-hand day, the other one-handed children and Oscar with no big  hands and  the BBC coming to meet me that  I can't do it all in one blog.  So - I'm going to do short sentences and bullet points today and will then write more about each thing during the week.

  • BBC at my house in the morning
  • BBC at school
  • Build a hand event - boys v girls, what people said and how much fun it was, one handed children, Techielab
  • Different colours
  • People's ideas - things that they suggested about the hands
  • Asking people questions like "how do people hold your hands"

So goodbye for now :)

10th June 2015

It's been a busy week and I know mum, Dani and David are working hard to get everything ready for Friday.  There's a lot more to 3D hands than just printing - sewing, sticking, cutting, threading, crimping..... my mum says there are 5 other children coming in to our day who will also get a new hand.  One boy will get two.  I wonder if he'll find them really useful.  I'm looking forward to it but I may be a bit tired because we have to get up at 6.30 because BBC South East news want to come to our house at 7 IN THE MORNING to ask  me some questions about Project Lara.  They also want to come to school in the afternoon so it's all going to be manic.  I think they want to film me riding a bike so my dad has just had to pump my tyres up. 

I did my assembly to YC yesterday (Tuesday 9th June) - I felt a lot  more confident but it helped that there were less people there because Years 5,6 and 8 weren't there.  Mr Coakely said there are normally 300 boys there which would have been scary!  I quite enjoyed it but the video part didn't play. 

I had to cope without my hand today because David has found some special paint that goes on the fingers to make them grip better that he was going to put on them and my mum was going to put a better Velcro strap on.  I missed my hand - imagine your hand staying home when you're at school!! :) :)

6th June 2015 (again!)

I just wrote a long blog but then it didn't save properly.  So here's a shorter version (which my mum will type because I've already typed it out once :( ;(.

Today we had our school fair which was really good.  I was supposed to spend the time on the Techielab table showing  people how my hand works - David had a printer there to show people but he was printing key rings as printing a hand would take too long.  Loads of people have never seen a 3D printer before so we had to explain how my hand  works over and over again.  Luckily - when I got a bit bored of doing this I could just leave my hand behind and go off with my friends to explore (and buy sweets) and leave my hand with my mum and David to show people.  We had t-shirts with a picture of me and Mark (the yoga guy) on the front doing our back to back handstand.  David fixed my broken fingers in about 2 minutes - I didn't even notice!  It was a really fun day and it's cool that so many people are interested.

The new hands that Techielab are building for Friday are going to have a new kind of Velcro strap on them - so this is the first bit of new design that has happened because of me.  There are lots more ideas to come but we need to do Friday first.   

I was going to put a picture of a 3D printer here to show people what one looks like but the picture won't upload so I'll do that another day.  Bye :) ;)

6th June 2015

Today was our School summer Fair. It was held outside and Techielab was doing a stand which we called THE HAND STAND!  We had t-shirts with a picture of me and Mark from the yoga school doing our back to back hand stand.  David had a 3D printer which was making  key rings because it takes too long to make a hand - and I had to leave my hand there so that people could examine it.  Most people have never seen a 3D printer and they were amazed about how it works and what it does.   I had a look round so didn't spend all day at the stand.  There were too many great things to do to spend all day on my hand stand! 


3rd June 2015

Today I had a rounders match against another school.  It helps me aim the ball better - I was bowler.  I can't catch very well yet but I'll practice that.  It'll be good for catching because I won't hurt my fingers!  :) But - BUT - before the game had even started I noticed that the wire in my ring finger had snapped so my finger couldn't go down any more.  Basically I broke my finger - but with less pain and with no need to go to A&E!  We can't fix this at home because we have no wire or crimps to secure a new wire.  This is a lesson - hand owners should have spare parts!! (Thank goodness it wasn't my middle finger!).  Children from the other school were noticing my hand but no-one came to ask.  I'm getting so used to it that I forget that most people haven't seen one.   My dad has stickers on his guitar case to say where it's travelled to - I think I need stickers on my hand to show where it's been.  In the seven days I've owned it - I've been to London and tomorrow I'm going to France (and it's been to school - :) :(   On a design point - most of the time it's good but I would  like to be able to take it off more easily for things it gets in the way of like when I want to do handstands at break....