We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!
Students discuss several human reproductive technologies available today — pregnancy ultrasound, amniocentesis, in-vitro fertilization and labor anesthetics. They learn how each technology works, and that these are ways engineers have worked to improve the health of expecting mothers and babies.
Students use simple household materials, such as PVC piping and compact mirrors, to construct models of laser-based security systems. The protected object (a “mummified troll” or another treasure of your choosing) is placed “on display” in the center of the modeled room and protected by a laser system that utilizes a laser beam reflected off mirrors to trigger a light trip sensor with alarm.
Lasers, Let’s Find ‘Em!
Students research particular types of lasers and find examples of how they are used in technology today. Teams present their findings by means of PowerPoint presentations, videos or brochures. The class takes notes on the presentations using a provided handout. This activity prepares students for the “go public” phase of the legacy cycle in which they solve the grand challenge by designing and producing a laser-based security system.
DNA: The Human Body Recipe
As a class, students work through an example showing how DNA provides the “recipe” for making our body proteins. They see how the pattern of nucleotide bases (adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine) forms the double helix ladder shape of DNA, and serves as the code for the steps required to make genes. They also learn some ways that engineers and scientists are applying their understanding of DNA in our world.
My Mechanical Ear Can Hear!
Students are introduced to various types of hearing impairments and the types of biomedical devices that engineers have designed to aid people with this physical disability.
Protecting the Mummified Troll
Students are introduced to the (hypothetical) task of developing an invisible (non-intrusive) security system to protect the school’s treasured mummified troll! Solving the challenge depends on an understanding of the properties of light. After being introduced to the challenge question, students generate ideas and consider the knowledge required find solutions. They watch a portion of the “Mythbuster’s Crimes and Myth-Demeanors” episode ($20), which helps direct their research and learn
Security System Design
Students apply everything they have learned about light properties and laser technologies to designing, constructing and presenting laser-based security systems that protect the school’s mummified troll. In the associated activity, students “test their mettle” by constructing their security system using a PVC pipe frame, lasers and mirrors. In the lesson, students “go public” by creating informational presentations that explain their systems, and serve as embedded assessment, testing e
Induced EMF in a coil of wire
Students use a simple set up consisting of a coil of wire and a magnet to visualize induced EMF. First, students move a coil of wire near a magnet and observe the voltage that results. They then experiment with moving the wire, magnet, and a second, current carrying coil. Students connect the coil to a circuit and the current from the induced EMF charges a conductor.
Physics is the scientific study of the basic principles of the universe, including matter, energy, motion and force, and their interactions. Major topics include classical mechanics, thermodynamics, light and optics, electromagnetism and relativity.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
This lesson ties the preceding lessons together and brings students back to the grand challenge question on MRI safety. During this lesson, students focus on the logistics of magnetic resonance imaging as well as the MRI hardware. Students can then integrate this knowledge with their acquired knowledge on magnetic fields to solve the challenge question.
Magnetic Fields Matter
This lesson introduces students to the effects of magnetic fields in matter addressing permanent magnets, diamagnetism, paramagnetism, ferromagnetism, and magnetization. First students must compare the magnetic field of a solenoid to the magnetic field of a permanent magnet. Students then learn the response of diamagnetic, paramagnetic, and ferromagnetic material to a magnetic field. Now aware of the mechanism causing a solid to respond to a field, students learn how to measure the response by l
Slinkies as Solenoids
In this activity, students use an old fashion children’s toy, a metal slinky, to mimic and understand the magnetic field generated in an MRI machine. The metal slinky mimics the magnetic field of a solenoid, which forms the basis for the magnet of the MRI machine. Students run current through the slinky and use computer and calculator software to explore the magnetic field created by the slinky.
Visualizing Magnetic Field Lines
In this activity, students take the age old concept of etch-a-sketch a step further. Using iron filings, students begin visualizing magnetic field lines. To do so, students use a compass to read the direction of the magnet’s magnetic field. Then, students observe the behavior of iron filings near that magnet as they rotate the filings about the magnet. Finally, students study the behavior of iron filings suspended in mineral oil which displays the magnetic field in three dimensions.
Light It Up
Through an introduction to the design of lighting systems and the electromagnetic spectrum, students learn about the concept of daylighting as well as two types of light bulbs (lamps) often used in energy-efficient lighting design. Students learn how the application of something as simple, and free, as natural light can help them improve the future of generations to come.
Polluted Air = Polluted Lungs
To gain a better understanding of the roles and functions of components of the human respiratory system and our need for clean air, students construct model lungs that include a diaphragm and chest cavity. They see how air moving in and out of the lungs coincides with diaphragm movement. Then student teams design and build a prototype face mask pollution filter. They use their model lungs to evaluate their prototypes to design requirements.
Students are introduced to the circulatory system, the heart, and blood flow in the human body. Through guided pre-reading, during-reading and post-reading activities, students learn about the circulatory system’s parts, functions and disorders, as well as engineering medical solutions. By cultivating literacy practices as presented in this lesson, students can improve their scientific and technological literacy.
Clearing a Path to the Heart
Following 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. They learn about the circulatory system, biomedical engineering, and conditions that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Students are introduced to the respiratory system, the lungs and air. They learn about how the lungs and diaphragm work, how air pollution affects lungs and respiratory functions, some widespread respiratory problems, and how engineers help us stay healthy by designing machines and medicines that support respiratory health and function.
Cutting Through Soil
Students pretend they are agricultural engineers during the colonial period and design a miniature plow that cuts through a “field” of soil. They are introduced to the engineering design process and learn of several famous historical figures who contributed to plow design.
Serial Dilution of Food Coloring Dye
Students use dyes to explore serial dilution, an important technique in physical science and engineering. Students systematically dilute solutions of food coloring with pure water. They observe how the color intensity, or saturation, of each subsequent solution changes. They also keep a running calculation of the concentration of drops per ml water. They apply what they learn to discussions of biomedical engineers working with cells.