Spring Saturday SAVY, Week 3, Biomedical Engineering (1st-2nd)
We had a great last session in Biomedical Engineering! As a culminating project, our young engineers were presented with the challenge of creating a knee brace that would stabilize a model of an injured knee. They went through the entire engineering design process.
We began the morning with Step 1: Ask. In this step, learners asked how the range of motion of a healthy knee compares to that of an injured knee. They used their goniometers to measure the range of motion of the model of an injured knee and then compared results with the range of motion of a healthy knee. They also asked what materials were available to create the brace. Materials were evaluated, and properties were identified to help students decide how they might use materials in their designs.
Following the “Ask” step, students engaged in Step 2: Imagine. In this step, they were challenged to record 2 different design ideas. Next, it was on to Step 3: Plan. Students evaluated the designs they imagined making and created a plan for their designs identifying materials and amounts needed to make their prototype.
Once all materials were gathered, they began Step 4: Create. Students worked hard to create their knee braces, and once complete, they were ready to test them. After attaching their brace to the injured knee model, they conducted 4 tests to measure the range of motion with their goniometer. The challenge was for the braced injured knee to have the same range of motion (as measured by the goniometer reading) as a healthy knee.
None of the knee braces met the challenge on the first try, so students moved on to Step 5: Improve. This was a challenging process. Only two students were able to improve their designs within the time constraints to meet the challenge completely, but all students gained valuable experience with the engineering design process!
We thoroughly enjoyed working with these bright young engineers and encourage you to continue to challenge your child to engage in engineering challenges. Here is a link to one resource with engineering design challenges you may be interested in: https://www.giftofcuriosity.com/engineering-challenges-for-kids-steam/.
We hope to see our young scholars in future SAVY sessions!
~ Ms. Davidson (Instructor) & Ms. Liz (Classroom Assistant)