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Grissom Senior Develops Prosthetic Foot for Marine

Grissom High School graduates have been making waves for years — remember when Yaa Gyasi wrote Homegoing and won a bunch of literary awards? Or, when Cara Taylor went from Instagram to Paris Fashion Week?  Now, a Grissom senior isn’t even waiting until graduation to start making headlines. Ashley Kimbel, 17, was recently featured on the Today show for her invention.

Ashley is an aspiring biomedical engineer — or maybe we should already call her an engineer, but one who probably still has a curfew — who invented an artificial foot for a US Marine Corps veteran.

The engineering program at Grissom is supported by Siemens, and it was there that Ashley got the idea and skills needed to develop the foot. She was working on the Green Power auto racing team when she met Devon Bane, who was volunteering with the program. Devon’s brother, Kendall, was a Marine who got shot in the stomach and leg in Afghanistan, according to Newsweek.

His leg had to be amputated at the knee, and he got a heavy-duty prosthetic foot, but he needed something a little more versatile.

When Devon told Ashley about his brother, she decided to use her engineering skills to help him. Using a Siemens software program, Ashley was able to make a prosthetic foot that was lightweight and would help Kendall return to outdoor activities.

“Having a lighter foot is going to open up possibilities that would not have been there before,” Kendall said.

It took a year for Ashley to design and engineer the new foot.

“In the future, I want to do things that are impossible right now,” Ashley said.

Go Tigers and go Ashley!

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About the author


Jessie Harbin

Jessie lives in Meridianville with her husband, baby and four dogs. She thrives on chaos, and loves finding good news stories where you least expect them.

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