Students design and develop a useful assistive device for people challenged by fine motor skill development who cannot grasp and control objects. In the process of designing prototype devices, they learn about the engineering design process and how to use it to solve problems. After an introduction about the effects of disabilities and the importance of hand and finger dexterity, student pairs research, brainstorm, plan, budget, compare, select, prototype, test, evaluate and modify their design ideas to create devices that enable a student to hold and use a small paintbrush or crayon. The design challenge includes clearly identified criteria and constraints, to which teams rate their competing design solutions. Prototype testing includes independent evaluations by three classmates, after which students redesign to make improvements. To conclude, teams make one-slide presentations to the class to recap their design projects. This activity incorporates a 3D modeling and 3D printing component as students generate prototypes of their designs. However, if no 3D printer is available, the project can be modified to use traditional and/or simpler fabrication processes and basic materials.
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.
After completing the associated lesson and its first associated activity, students are familiar with the 20 major bones in the human body knowing their locations and relative densities. When those bones break, lose their densities or are destroyed, we look to biomedical engineers to provide replacements. In this activity, student pairs are challenged to choose materials and create prototypes that could replace specific bones. They follow the steps of the engineering design process, researching, brainstorming, prototyping and testing to find bone replacement solutions. Specifically, they focus on identifying substances that when combined into a creative design might provide the same density (and thus strength and support) as their natural counterparts. After iterations to improve their designs, they present their bone alternative solutions to the rest of the class. They refer to the measured and calculated densities for fabricated human bones calculated in the previous activity, and conduct Internet research to learn the densities of given fabrication materials (or measure/calculate those densities if not found online).
Students further their understanding of the engineering design process (EDP) while applying researched information on transportation technology, materials science and bioengineering. Students are given a fictional client statement (engineering challenge) and directed to follow the steps of the EDP to design prototype patient safety systems for small-size model ambulances. While following the steps of the EDP, students identify suitable materials and demonstrate two methods of representing solutions to the design challenge (scale drawings and small-scale prototypes). A successful patient safety system meets all of the project's functions and constraints, including the model patient (a raw egg) "surviving" a front-end collision test with a 1:8 ramp pitch.
Students follow the steps of the engineering design process (EDP) while learning about assistive devices and biomedical engineering. They first go through a design-build-test activity to learn the steps of the cyclical engineering design process. Then, during the three main activities (7 x 55 minutes each) student teams are given a fictional client statement and follow the EDP steps to design products an off-road wheelchair, a portable wheelchair ramp, and an automatic floor sweeper computer program. Students brainstorm ideas, identify suitable materials and demonstrate different methods of representing solutions to their design problems scale drawings or programming descriptions, and simple models or classroom prototypes.
Students further their understanding of the engineering design process while combining mechanical engineering and bioengineering to create an automated medical device. During the activity, students are given a fictional client statement and are required to follow the steps of the design process to create medical devices that help reduce the workload for hospital workers and increase the quality of patient care.
Students learn about how biomedical engineers create assistive devices for persons with fine motor skill disabilities. They learn about types of forces, balanced and unbalanced forces, and the relationship between form and function, as well as the structure of the hand. They do this by designing, building and testing their own hand "gripper" prototypes that are able to grasp and lift a 200 ml cup of sand.
Students design and create sensory integration toys for young children with developmental disabilities an engineering challenge that combines the topics of biomedical engineering, engineering design and human senses. Students learn the steps of the engineering design process (EDP) and how to use it for problem solving. After learning about the human sensory system, student teams apply the EDP to their sensory toy projects. They design and make plans within given project constraints, choose materials, fabricate prototypes, evaluate the prototypes, and give and receive peer feedback. Students experience the entire design-build-test-redesign process and conclude with a class presentation in which they summarize their experiences with the EDP steps and their sensory toy project development.
Students are challenged to design, build and test small-scale launchers while they learn and follow the steps of the engineering design process. For the challenge, the "slingers" must be able to aim and launch Ping-Pong balls 20 feet into a goal using ordinary building materials such as tape, string, plastic spoons, film canisters, plastic cups, rubber bands and paper clips. Students first learn about defining the problem and why each step of the process is important. Teams develop solutions and determine which is the best based on design requirements. After making drawings, constructing and testing prototypes, they evaluate the results and make recommendations for potential second-generation prototypes.