Stephanie A. Maiolino, PhD

Outreach Projects & Downloads

Educational outreach - Paws and Claws

Paws and Claws is an exhibit that I have designed and led for the annual Dinosaurs and Cavemen Science Expo (a collaborative effort by the Integrative Anatomy Group within the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, NSF IOS 1457319). It is primarily directed toward K-6 grade students and provides a hand on activity that emphasizes biodiversity, adaptation, and homology. The exhibit includes five stations in which visitors are encouraged to try out and match working 3D printed models of mammalian claws with a simulated behavior (e.g., hunting, climbing). While the original materials remain at Mizzou, I have redeveloped the exhibit for use at the Long Island Mini Makers Faire.

3D printed model of front claw of a cat demonstrating how the shape of the bones permit claw retraction (when claw is "sheathed", top). To "extend", the flexor tendon (simulated by a chain of rubber bands) must rotate the claw downwards (bottom).

The claw models were printed using a MakerBot 3D printer and constructed using enamel paint, wire, small clasps, and rubber bands. Models were made from microCT scans of the claws and phalanges of a cat, squirrel, armadillo, sloth, and coyote.

If interested in printing and constructing your own claw models, model files and instructions are available upon request.

The MakerBot file for the cat claw model shown on the left is available for download at the bottom of this page.