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WE LOVE TO WATCH OUR STUDENTS BLOSSOM

Hitting all the Right Notes.

Eleven-year-old Isabella Nicola wanted to learn to play the violin. Since she was born without a left hand and only a partial bone from her elbow to her wrist, some would say her dream was impossible. Not Matthew Baldwin, the strings director at her Northern Virginia elementary school and a Mason alumnus. He saw promise and took action, reaching out to five Mason bioengineering students. The seniors, as part of their capstone project, developed and produced through 3-D printing a prosthetic that mimicked the actions of an elbow and wrist, and held a violin bow. The story received worldwide attention. Isabella’s mother, Andrea Cabrera, puts it more clearly: “I want to cry because they took this project.”