Prosthetic Hand Created by Sparta High School Student, Delivered to Grateful Friend

Joseph Nocerino built a prosthetic hand for Qin Davis. Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Brenden Brusburg assisted in adjusting the hand design to fit Qin using auto CAD. Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Qin showed how the hand works Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Qin's father Preston Davis discusses adjusments to customize the hand for Qin Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Qin's new Sparta High School Robotics shirt Credits: Jennifer Dericks

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta High School student stepped up to help another child this year with a unique independent project.  Joseph Nocerino created a prosthetic hand for a boy in his church that was born with only one hand.

With the help of two teachers Mark Meola and Lisa Tafuri, programing assistance from a fellow students Brenden Brusberg and about $30 worth of materials, a young boy named Qin got a new hand. 

Nocerino spent his spare time creating the hand.  He used a program from an organization called Cyberbeast that provides the files to 3D print a prosthetic for free, as long as the device is provided to the recipient for free.

Sign Up for E-News

Nocerino put the prosthetic together and has spent the last few weeks “tweaking it to customize the design so energy is not lost” and it functions better for Qin, according to Nocerino. 

Qin’s father Preston Davis said the adjustments have been a matter of “determining the limitations of the design versus the function of build,” changing things such as the length of the wires and the types of grips on the fingers.

Initially Qin was “shy about the idea,” said Nocerino. “But when he saw it he totally jumped in and took over immediately, took ownership immediately.”

Qin, a sixth grade student in Andover, came to Sparta High School with his father a couple of weeks ago to talk with TAP into Sparta. 

Qin showed how easy the hand functioned, picking up a bottle of water off a counter.

“It’s very cool and it works well,” said the reserved Qin.  “It’s comfortable.”

According to Nocerino, Qin chose the color; vibrant orange.

Like many boys his age, Qin plays lacrosse and soccer and is a wrestler.  His favorite subjects in school are “math and lunch.”

During his visit Nocerino and Meola gave Qin Sparta Robotics Team tshirt, making him an unofficial member.    

“It’s nice Joe could do something for someone he knows,” said Meola.  “Nice to have something in the real world, not abstract.  And nice to have someone really benefits from his work.”

“Grades are one thing,” said Nocerino, “but this project has made me feel great.”

Nocerino said a “couple of people have approached [him] about internship opportunities.”  The high school senior described his “end game” as one that would allow him to “design simple prosthetics to be distributed around the world for those who cannot afford them.”

The connection between Qin and Nocerino was made through church and moms.  Nocerino’s mother Diane and Qin’s mother Marivelle sing together in the choir.  Qin’s mother was Joseph’s CCD teacher.

Davis said it has been “a joy to have Joe take on this project for Qin.”

“They are a nice family,” said Nocerino.  “It has been a pleasure working with this family.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: License Plate Trouble Uncovers Suspended License and Warrant

April 11, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A man driving a truck without a license plate was arrested for having an outstanding $2500 warrant.  On February 42 around 8 a.m. Cpl. Craig Grauerholz stopped Elioesal Gomez driving gray Ford pulling a trailer driven, police report.

The 25-year-old Salem resident was taken into custody when the warrant from Plesgrove was discovered.  Gomez’s license had been ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, April 19, 9:00 AM

The First Presbyterian Church of Sparta, Sparta

FPCS Spring Rummage Sale

Giving Back

Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Sparta VFW Hall, Sparta

Importance of Bees


Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic


Fri, May 4, 7:00 PM

Sparta Evangelical Free Church, Sparta

Veritas Christian Academy presents The Music Man

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, May 6, 7:00 AM

Liberty State Park, Jersey City

11th Annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, May 13, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, May 27, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, June 10, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


The Issue of Alternatives to Elected School Boards

April 14, 2018

The time of electing local school boards should come to an end. According to the National School Boards Association, “the local school board is a critical public link to public schools. Whether elected or appointed, school board members serve their communities in several important ways. First and foremost, school boards look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school ...

Buy A Home To Build Your Family's Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. Team Nest Builder wants you to understand what that means for homeowners and their equity positions.

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home ...

Now’s the Time to Buy Your NJ Luxury Home

House no longer fits your needs? Planning on buying a New Jersey luxury home? Now is the time to do so!

Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.  The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these ...

Buy a Home NOW Before Mortgage Rates Climb Higher

Whether you’re a buyer searching for your first home, or a homeowner looking to move up to your next home, Team Nest Builder knows you should pay attention to where mortgage interest rates are heading.

Over the course of 2018, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates increased from 3.95% in the first week of January to 4.40% in the first week of April.

At ...

6 Simple Decorating Tricks for Your NJ Home

Ever watched “Trading Spaces” and wondered, “How do they pull together a beautiful room so quickly?”  Team Nest Builder knows! Read on for these 6 simple decorating tricks from the newly relaunched “Trading Spaces” stars.  You’ll be amazed at what a difference they make in your New Jersey home!

Let Your Heart Choose Your Art

Laurie Smith ...

Clean Your Closet and Help Sussex County Children By Donating Shoes

You know those shoes in the back of your closet that scream.”I grew up watching “Friends”’? Team Nest Builder wants to help YOU get rid of them while doing good for Sussex County children, through the Sojihuggles Children’s Foundation.

Now through May 15th, donate your gently worn, used or new shoes to help underprivileged children in Sussex County while ...

Try The Rustic Industrial Decor Trend In Your New Jersey Home

The “Rustic Industrial” home design trend is everywhere these days. Contrasting textures and natural elements mixed with metals help keep this style family-friendly.  Want to bring this look into your New Jersey home? Team Nest Builder provides ideas here for how to put your rustic industrial space together (and offers an OPEN HOUSE in a newly-listed rustic industrial ...

Want to avoid gaining weight? Don’t diet!

Researchers aiming to identify lifestyle factors related to weight management followed more than 4,500 young adults (average age 24) for ten years. At the end of the study period, 77% of the men and 72% of the women had gained weight. The lifestyle factors associated with no weight gain among the remaining 23% of the men and 28% of women were regular eating patterns (not skipping meals) and no ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!


Vernon Township Retirees Who Inspire Fitness and Fun for Seniors Honored with Top Metro YMCA Award

April 19, 2018

Retirees Ann and Ray Fedorisin, unofficial health ambassadors at the Sussex County YMCA, weren’t always active seniors.

“We were well on our way to becoming committed couch potatoes,” Ann Fedorisin said. That changed in 2011, when her husband’s cardiologist told them their health insurance would cover a month of wellness coaching at the YMCA, she said.

The Vernon ...