Students explore Hooke's law while working in small groups at their lab benches. They collect displacement data for springs with unknown spring constants, k, by adding various masses of known weight. After exploring Hooke's law and answering a series of application questions, students apply their new understanding to explore a tissue of known surface area. Students then use the necessary relationships to depict a cancerous tumor amidst normal tissue by creating a graph in Microsoft Excel.
Students learn more about how muscles work and how biomedical engineers can help keep the muscular system healthy. Following the engineering design process, they create their own biomedical device to aid in the recovery of a strained bicep. They discover the importance of rest to muscle recovery and that muscles (just like engineers!) work together to achieve a common goal.
Students are presented with a hypothetical scenario in which they are biomedical engineers asked to design artificial hearts. Using the engineering design process as a guide, the challenge is established and students brainstorm to list everything they might need to know about the heart in order to create a complete mechanical replacement (size, how it functions, path of blood etc.). They conduct research to learn the information and organize it through various activities. They research artificial heart models that have already been used and rate their performance in clinical trials. Finally, they analyze the data to identify the artificial heart features and properties they think work best and document their findings in essay form.
Students learn more about assistive devices, specifically biomedical engineering applied to computer engineering concepts, with an engineering challenge to create an automatic floor cleaner computer program. Following the steps of the design process, they design computer programs and test them by programming a simulated robot vacuum cleaner (a LEGO® robot) to move in designated patterns. Successful programs meet all the design requirements.
In this activity, students learn about their heart rate and different ways it can be measured. Students construct a simple measurement device using clay and a toothpick, and then use this device to measure their heart rate under different circumstances (i.e., sitting, standing and jumping). Students make predictions and record data on a worksheet.
Human beings are fascinating and complex living organisms a symphony of different functional systems working in concert. Through a 10-lesson series with hands-on activities students are introduced to seven systems of the human body skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, sensory, and reproductive as well as genetics. At every stage, they are also introduced to engineers' creative, real-world involvement in caring for the human body.
Students use a tension-compression machine (or an alternative bone-breaking setup) to see how different bones fracture differently and with different amounts of force, depending on their body locations. Teams determine bone mass and volume, calculate bone density, and predict fracture force. Then they each test a small animal bone (chicken, turkey, cat) to failure, examining the break to analyze the fracture type. Groups conduct research about biomedical challenges, materials and repair methods, and design repair treatment plans specific to their bones and fracture types, presenting their design recommendations to the class.
Students are introduced to the concept and steps of the engineering design process and taught how to apply it. Students first receive some background information about biomedical engineering (aka bioengineering). Then they learn about material selection and material properties by using a provided guide. In small groups, students learn of their design challenge (improve a cast for a broken arm), brainstorm solutions, are given materials and create prototypes. To finish, teams communicate their design solutions through class poster presentations.
What does the brain look like? As engineers, how can we look at neural networks without invasive surgery? In this activity, students design and build neuron models based on observations made while viewing neurons through a microscope. The models are used to explain how each structure of the neuron contributes to the overall function. Students share their models with younger students and explain what a neuron is, its function, and how engineers use their understanding of the neuron to make devices to activate neurons.
In this activity students examine and learn about the various jobs and skills within dental hygienist careers.
In this activity students examine and learn about the various jobs and skills within genetic counselor careers.
In this activity students examine and learn about the various jobs and skills within kinesiologist careers.
In this activity students examine and learn about the various jobs and skills within neonatal nurse careers.
In this activity students examine and learn about the various jobs and skills within nursing careers.
Following the steps of the engineering design process and acting as biomedical engineers, student teams use everyday materials to design and develop devices and approaches to unclog blood vessels. Through this open-ended design project, they learn about the circulatory system, biomedical engineering, and conditions that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Students are given a biomedical engineering challenge, which they solve while following the steps of the engineering design process. In a design lab environment, student groups design, create and test prototype devices that help people using crutches carry things, such as books and school supplies. The assistive devices must meet a list of constraints, including a device weight limit and minimum load capacity. Students use various hand and power tools to fabricate the devices. They test the practicality of their designs by loading them with objects and then using the modified crutches in the school hallways and classrooms.
Students are introduced to engineering, specifically to biomedical engineering and the engineering design process, through a short lecture and an associated hands-on activity in which they design their own medical devices for retrieving foreign bodies from the ear canal. Through the lesson, they learn the basics of ear anatomy and how ear infections occur and are treated. Besides antibiotic treatment, the most common treatment for chronic ear infections is the insertion of ear tubes to drain fluid from the middle ear space to relieve pressure on the ear drum. Medical devices for this procedure, a very common children's surgery, are limited, sometimes resulting in unnecessary complications from a simple procedure. Thus, biomedical engineers must think creatively to develop new solutions (that is, new and improved medical devices/instruments) for inserting ear tubes into the ear drum. The class learns the engineering design process from this ear tube example of a medical device design problem. In the associated activity, students explore biomedical engineering on their own by designing prototype medical devices to solve another ear problem commonly experienced by children: the lodging of a foreign body (such as a pebble, bead or popcorn kernel) in the ear canal. The activity concludes by teams sharing and verbally analyzing their devices.
Student teams create laparoscopic surgical robots designed to reduce the invasiveness of diagnosing endometriosis and investigate how the disease forms and spreads. Using a synthetic abdominal cavity simulator, students test and iterate their remotely controlled, camera-toting prototype devices, which must fit through small incisions, inspect the organs and tissue for disease, obtain biopsies, and monitor via ongoing wireless image-taking. Note: This activity is the core design project for a semester-long, three-credit high school engineering course. Refer to the associated curricular unit for preparatory lessons and activities.
Students are introduced to the unit challenge: To develop a painless means of identifying cancerous tumors. Solving the challenge depends on an understanding of the properties of stress and strain. After learning the challenge question, students generate ideas and consider the knowledge required to solve the challenge. Then they read an expert's opinion on ultrasound imaging and the potentials for detecting cancerous tumors. This interview helps to direct student research and learning towards finding a solution.
In this activity, students squeeze a tennis ball to demonstrate the strength of the human heart. Working in teams, they think of ways to keep the heart beating if the natural mechanism were to fail. The goal of this activity is to get students to understand the strength and resilience of the heart.